Tomorrow begins 2013, much to the Mayans’ surprise and mine. I am a little shocked to find myself here, with that big number to write on checks and paperwork. I’m 38 years old, an age I didn’t even attempt to imagine when I was little because it was *so old*, and yet I somehow still feel like a rookie — at everything — and I still feel like there is so much to do (and I am not just talking about my laundry).
2012 certainly had painful moments for our world, our country, and me personally. But I have to be honest and say that it will still, despite the darker moments, be one of my favorite years. It brought me the birth of my last baby and my only baby girl, Lucy, and she has filled up the nooks and crannies in my heart in a way I never could have imagined and changed our family in a wonderful way. I am so, so glad Lucy was born.
Our summer was pretty rough for several reasons — sleep deprivation, a newborn in the house that couldn’t nap because of her very loud brothers, and a lack of structure and routine for said brothers. By the time school began, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But once school began, we did better. One of my children started his last year in elementary school. Another started kindergarten. And then we went to my niece’s Sweet Sixteen birthday party, and I hopped reluctantly into a photo booth with my five year old, and everything changed.
I have tried to describe what happened to me when “The Mom Stays in the Picture” went viral, but it seems I am not a good enough writer to articulate it well. I wrote the post hoping just to give the Huffington Post a solid, well-received piece. I never imagined in a million years it would do what it did. Thus, I was wholly unprepared for the attention. I was literally out buying make-up and clothes to wear on television because I didn’t own make-up or clothes I could wear on television. Though that whirlwind has died down, I am still humbled every single day by the pictures moms post on Instagram with the hashtag “themomstaysinthepicture” or some version of the title. I still cry when I look at them, because what those pictures show are every day, normal moms and moments — and they have taught me how important those moments are, as well as how many moms are out there, doing what I do. Most importantly, those pictures show how not alone we are and how much love there is in the world. The response to that post changed me, my life, and maybe even my life’s course, and it came out of nowhere. It was a miracle for me. I have seen, now, that we never know what can happen, good or bad. Life is still — always — a grand adventure. Have your good bra and comfortable shoes on and be prepared for anything.
I’m not one for resolutions, but I like to pick a word or an idea for a new year. My word for 2013 is light. I want to be lighter, physically and emotionally. I want to live in the light. I want to purge what is holding me back. I want LIGHT.
Happy 2013, everyone. May the Force be with you and the odds be ever in your favor, says this mom of many boys and one spitfire baby girl.