Happy Freakin' New Year.

I am so glad that the holidays are over. I swear, if I have to look at one more ribbon or bow, I’ll hang myself with it. Now we can move on to bigger and better things, like the New Year, and what my resolution will be. I put a lot of thought into my New Year's resolutions. I don’t do lame ones that are destined to fail, like eat less sugar or clean out my closet. Instead, I try to find some behavior that is bringing me down somehow, and I resolve to change it. This year I’ve got a doozy. My resolution for 2009 is to pretend that I am twenty years older, and that I have been given a chance to go back in time and relive this period of my life. It’s a mouthful, I know. Eat less sugar would have been so much simpler. Obviously, I’m not doing so well with my 2007 New Years resolution, which was to try not to make things more complicated than they need to be.

But really, I think I’m on to something with this one. In twenty years, I’ll be fifty-five. My kids will be twenty-two and twenty-four. My husband will be fifty-four. If fifty-five year old me could go back and be thirty-five year old me again, I think that fifty-five year old me would a) be really psyched to not have so many wrinkles, and b) do some things a little differently. For example: my son is two years old. He whines a lot, and he’s going through a super clingy phase. He always wants me to pick him up, he’ll only let me put him to bed, and I can’t escape his room without a minimum of forty hugs before he’ll lie down in his crib. Now, this stuff drives me insane, especially when I’m starving and want to eat dinner and he’s yelling for me to come back into his room to give him his forty seventh hug, or when I’m trying to talk on the phone to my editor and he’s crying and screaming, “Uppy, mommy, uppy,” at the top of his lungs. But then I think about fifty-five year old me. Fifty-five year old me would probably kill for the chance to pick up her son (who, let’s not forget, is now twenty-two), and have him wrap his arms around her neck and squeeze her so hard that she very nearly loses consciousness. Hell, with the way my back feels these days, fifty-five year old me would probably just be thrilled to not be an invalid anymore. And you see, when you think about it that way, you can’t help but be less annoyed by the kid, and more appreciative of just how sweet it is to have a little person love you so much that he just wants to be close to your face, even if it is at a particularly inconvenient time.


That's it. I'm initiating sex tonight. My husband thanks you.


I love this but I don't get it. Isn't Risa's daughter in first grade? According to this blog, she would be four right now!


You nailed that one. I loved it. Thanks for kicking me in the ass a bit.


As that almost-55 year old you've been imagining yourself as, I think you're smart try to gain a different perspective on those hard-to-appreciate moments. But let me offer a real life peak into your future. Somehow, those longest days morph into the shortest years, and rather than longing again to inhale the sweetness of my once two-year olds, I've landed fully, head-on in love with my now teenagers. Yep, teenagers. And because I also have an eight-year old who still needs me in that complete mommy way, I still have an immediate point of comparison. At 16 1/2 and 19, my daughter and son wax and wane into and out of becoming more of who they are in (often) the most beautiful and (usually) interesting ways. They need their parents no less, just differently, and with one foot out the door (my son has already started college and my daughter wishes she had), what they offer—-whether stumbling down to the kitchen half conscious in the morning or sitting down to share some insight into their lives--is as delicious as when they were half the size. They are simultaneously their two, six, ten, and 12-year old selves, with more than the occasional glimpses of the adults they almost are. It is just amazing and no less absorbing, if you take the time for it, than the most precious days of babyhood. Enjoy!


Yikes. In twenty years I will be sixty. My daughter twenty-two. I don't know if I want to peak into the future or not!



Ditto! Could not have said it better.


Beautiful thoughts- and hit home for me, since I was up most of the night last night with my separation anxiety-ridden one year old who wants to be physically touching mommy at all times...but I know I'll miss those chubby fingers around my neck and loud "MMMMwaHH!" kisses when he's older! I love getting this newsletter.


If you don't mind, I'm going to borrow this resolution. With 3 kids, a job and a husband, it's easy to forget that the "here & now" are the moments to treasure. We'll never get them back and find ourselves wishing for more. Thank you!


Such an amazing article, Risa. I always tell myself to be grateful for my crazy, hectic life but I never actually am. What a gift to have a great method to make it happen. I've been a HUGE fan since the birthday party article, but this is my new favorite.


I've thought of this before. Don't get stressed over wrinkles or a few extra pounds, because in 20 years, you'll look back at pictures of you from now and think "I looked great, why did I stress over stupid stuff like that?" And thank you for not talking about diets. I hate all the stupid ads in January about getting in shape or losing weight and the people in the commercials don't even need to.

Happy New Year!