It’s November 29, 2011, and I’m putting the finishing touches on this year’s family book—our collection of the year’s posts, stories and photographs into an old school, hard copy yearbook that goes out to family as a Christmas present (via www.blurb.com) and, per force, reflecting on the year. What was 2011 like in our little micro-world? It’s hard to pin down: in many ways, it was a year of change and adaptation, of a search for rhythms and routines and passions. It was the year Ender turned two with all that entails—the transformation of baby into full-fledged toddler with an iron will was complete, and while the parents, going through this change for the third time, were prepared, the siblings were occasionally caught off-guard! It was the year Flora turned six… and catapulted toward seven at a frenetic speed, losing teeth, gaining wisdom, enchanting and challenging the world all the while. It was the year Austen turned nine and started searching, in earnest for the meaning of life and his place in the world.
It was the year we added Maggie, our Boston Terrier puppy to the mix, and found out that raising a puppy when she’s your only child versus raising a puppy when she’s your fourth and the last on the totem pole is a whole different kettle of fish. The year we ran away from winter for five glorious Mexico weeks… the year we embraced Calgary in the summer and rediscovered cycling and the beauty of our parks and pathways… the year Flora learned to swim with her face underwater, the year Austen discovered Minecraft, and the year Ender almost lost his thumb (also the year Austen didn’t het a Swiss army knife for Christmas).
Through it all, it was, as it always should be, a year of family. There’s a funky Erma Bombeck quote that captures the mood well: “We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”
We end the year with, and in, gratitude. It had its downs as well as ups, tumultuous moments and scary ones. But overall, 2011 was a year of necessary lessons, positive changes, and in most areas, a step in the right direction.
Interested in getting your hands on a 2011 Yearbook? I’m working on making that possible on-line.