We welcomed in the new year with a hike through the woods with some friends on a glorious northern California day. The sun was high and bright, the ground was cool, drying out from all the rain and the air smelled of eucalyptus and bay leaves as the boys scurried along the path in front of us. It was a comforting and grounding way to ring in another year. Turning over a rock on the path, the boys found a tiny little salamander and many hands were eagerly waiting to hold it. The older boys understood how to be gentle with it and let it slither about in their hands, but Calvin just wanted to pinch it by its tail or curl it up inside his fist. At breakfast that morning, I tried explaining to Levi what it meant to start the new year over again and about all of the things that we have to look forward to in the coming months. One of the things being his 5th birthday this year and then kindergarten in the fall. When the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to shove them right back in! 5??? Kindergarten??? Where did the time go? It was just yesterday that I was walking these same hills with him in my belly and then while he was a baby strapped to my chest. This letting go and growing up thing is a hard one to swallow some days. And then there’s this guy…this talkative, inquisitive, funny, sweet and salty little firecracker of mine. Already climbing trees and hiking on his own, so desperately trying to keep up with his older brother. At least he will turn around and ask to be held and snuggled for a while before he’s on his way again!As they grow and change so do I. The lessons they teach me daily are great and some days I am so humbled and blown away by their sageness and wisdom. Their eyes are so open and bright, letting in the light of the world around them. I know I can’t filter out all of the “bad” things in this world from their experiences, but rather strive to be an example of what is good, what is kind, what is gracious.
I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to “accomplish” for myself in this coming year, but more than anything I want to keep on working on myself for them, so that I can lead by example. I will never be a perfect parent and I will never get it completely “right”, but I do want to be a mama they will be proud of one day and they will know in their hearts that I did my best for them. That’s my wish for the new year.