Articles


Strengthening My Resolve


I am not one for resolutions. Oh, I used to be, of course. I have vivid recollections of writing out elaborate New Year's resolutions every year, complete with drawings and/or charts. I would use the season as an opportunity to take stock of where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. I would reassess my life goals, plans, successes and failures, and sincerely and deliberately plot out my intentions for the coming year.

I have absolutely no recollection of having accomplished anything on said lists, but I do recall making them. Right up until my kids were born.

Since that time some nine years ago, I find not one shred of evidence that I have resolved to do anything more ambitious than get dressed on a daily basis. And darn it, it's just not right. The fact that I'm a parent does not negate my need to reassess, re-evaluate and continue to craft my goals and resolutions, and while I can't say this with 100 percent certainty, I am pretty sure they involve more than getting dressed.

For example, I resolve to have a video camera with me at all times. This will ensure that I can capture the image of dog and cat sleeping side by side in total harmony, which my entire family thinks is a big fat lie because no one has seen it but me. It will also hopefully prove to my dog's trainer, for whom my dog sits, lies down, heels and signs autographs, that this same dog really does bite me and jump on me and counter-surf and pull my daughter's hair.

I resolve to never, ever again ask a woman if she's pregnant unless and until I actually see her giving birth. I don't care if she's wearing a "Baby on Board" sign pointing to her belly. Never again.

When I get angry at my children, I resolve not to threaten them with getting a real job outside of the home.

I will not wait until guests are coming to clean the bathrooms, nor will I ever again erroneously suggest to my husband that guests might be coming so that he will clean the bathrooms.
I am not one for resolutions. Oh, I used to be, of course. I have vivid recollections of writing out elaborate New Year's resolutions every year, complete with drawings and/or charts. I would use the season as an opportunity to take stock of where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. I would reassess my life goals, plans, successes and failures, and sincerely and deliberately plot out my intentions for the coming year.
I have absolutely no recollection of having accomplished anything on said lists, but I do recall making them. Right up until my kids were born.

I will try–very, very hard–to look at young women with no facial hair and be happy for their youth, instead of silently cursing, "It'll happen to you, sweet thing. It'll happen to you."

Instead of immaturely jockeying for space when my children climb into our bed in the middle of the night, I will appreciate the precious moments of cuddling that I know will be but a memory soon enough. Only then will I push my husband off his side so that we have enough room.

I resolve to never again cut my own hair–if my husband will resolve to just let it go. Yes, honey, I know I'm not 5. It was an impulse, OK?

I resolve to spread the word that when the sign reads, "Drive-Thru McDonald's," it doesn't really mean to drive through the McDonald's. In a related vein, I intend to send a nice thank-you note to the body shop guy who didn't say one sarcastic word to me.

Speaking of sarcasm, I resolve to really, truly attempt to curb mine, because it's beginning to rub off on my children, and my mom, in particular, is not sure that's a good thing. The fact that it is probably my only true gift will not, sniff, hinder this goal. Sniff.

And speaking of messing up my children, I hereby resolve, with all of my heart and soul, to stop using guilt as a parenting technique. I swear to God I'll try, kids. Please, though, you've got to help me out, OK? Mommy can't do it all by herself, you know. No, no, it's OK. . . I'll feed the cat. And walk the dog. It's not like I have anything else to do, like make dinner and fold the clothes and teach my classes--no, really. You go play your video games, really. I've got it.

Oops. Oh well, I tried. Maybe I'll just go get dressed.

Maggie Lamond Simone is a book author, award-winning writer and mother of two living in Baldwinsville. Reach her at msimone@twcny.rr.com.







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