I think I was good until I took him grocery shopping. Among the throngs of families hurriedly grabbing produce and boxes of hot cocoa and fresh bread, my six-year-old and I happily strode into the local upscale grocery store, on a quest to find the last two items from my long, complicated list. On the way in, I had instructed him to remind me of one ingredient that I needed to get — fresh dill. This is how my child ended up marching through the families, proudly shouting out, for the world to hear, “Dill! Dough! Dill! Dough!”. Parents turned and stared at me, their mouths open in shock. I think a little old lady had a heart attack. I grabbed his hand, got the damn dill, picked up the other thing I needed, went through the checkout and got the hell out of there.
I know I should have laughed. I’m laughing now; does that count? But after weeks on end, day in and day out, me and the kid, I’m just… done. He starts every sentence with “Mommy?”. He ate all my butterscotch candies. He watches ridiculous television. He’s got horrible gas and he thinks it’s hilarious. He tries to ride the dog. He thought Walking with Dinosaurs was the BEST MOVIE EVER. He gets mad if he doesn’t win at games. His favorite thing to do is to hang on me. He doesn’t laugh at my jokes. And it’s all of these little things — plus the go, go, go — that make me want to rip my hair out.
At present, there are three of us in this little apartment. Three of us, a dog, two cats and a gecko. It’s too cold outside to do much; if we do, we’re not staying out for long. And so we’re way too close and we’re around each other way too much and we’re getting on each others’ nerves.
But this post isn’t about that. (And you’re like, “What the hell Tori? Didn’t you just spend three paragraphs blathering on about your kid?”) This post is about the New Year that starts today, and how I’m going to be just a little bit different.
It’s not a resolution; instead, let’s call it a REALIZATION. Five years ago, I was in an abusive marriage, in an awful job, and I was dirt poor. Today, I’m in a loving relationship with a supportive partner, I have an amazing job and I’m easily making ends meet. Are things perfect? Of course not. But I’m stable, and I’m happy most of the time. Instead of being mad about the little things, I need to be joyful about what I do have. I have a great son. I have a great boyfriend. And if people look at me like I’m crazy, then fuck them. I *am* crazy. Live with it.
And that’s my wish for all of you this New Year’s. Don’t look at what you don’t have — look at what you DO have, and be happy for it. I’m going to make changes this year, and I’m sure that you will too. But even if you don’t, you’re pretty good where you are right now. And maybe that’s the New Year’s realization that we all need.
Happy New Year!
(image by elena’s pantry, on flickr)