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Oh January, you wily creature, you. After the joyful upheaval of the holidays I am always desperate for you to arrive. We remove the Christmas tree from the living room and suddenly our crowded space seems limitless. A clean slate! Room to do cartwheels again!
And a week later, once the recycling truck has come and gone with an obscene amount of cardboard, I turn to my office and to my own aspirations for the new year.
And much like the tree and the living room, I search for space for my dreams and plans to stretch out and prepare for their own cartwheels.
My method usually starts with a good purging and a few thousand clear, plastic boxes. In my mind, there is no transition problem that can’t be solved with clear boxes and a label-maker.
In the midst of the sorting and the tossing, the lists and the goals, I aim to remember that my lofty 2012 resolutions also include this simple dictate: Have more fun.
To keep me focused on that essential goal, I add something to my office that needs neither clear box nor label…a print of the above photo with the following caption, overheard just the other day:
“Dad, come over here and build. It’s not just the organizing that’s fun.”
“Do I have to go to the piano recital?”
“Can I bring my DS?”
No. And before you ask why, I’ll remind you that this is a big deal for your sister. And we are a family who cheers each other on. We show up. We celebrate. We pay attention. We don’t sit in the audience tuned out and plugged into some little device. Got it?
Seven years ago I became the mother of a son. Though there was a brief moment during my pregnancy when the idea seemed improbable and daunting, mothering boys now feels like the most natural thing in the world to me.
I learned that two can play at the bathroom humor game and sometimes it’s the only way to gain cooperation.
I learned that getting a boy to talk about his feelings has nothing to do with saying the right words, but everything to do with being in the right place at the right time and keeping my mouth shut.
I learned that you can never own too many lightsabers.
I learned that when in doubt, shout “Tag! You’re it!” and run like hell.