We learned some important things in 2013. While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the things we learned:
1. It takes more than one night to set up a garage sale.
No, really. It takes A LOT OF NIGHTS. Especially if you are planning a garage sale of urban legend proportions.
2. Create adventures, but carry bug spray.
Bridget and I learned this the super hard way; I even made a scrapbook page about it. It's still too soon for us to laugh about it all, but scrapbooking is part of the path to healing. Haha.
3. Silver linings are real.
It is no secret that we have struggled with the adjustment of moving from Wyoming to Louisiana. But here's the great irony: if we were still in Wyoming, the girls would no longer be competitive gymnasts. Here, however, they have fallen in love with gymnastics again. Their coaches challenge them and encourage them in the same breath here; they are stronger, more focused, and happy. It will make moving from this gym next summer painfully difficult. But no matter what happens in the future with gymnastics, they know that they can do it. They have proof.
4. Double modals are a thing.
Matt and I were at a meeting where the words "might could" were used in sequence, which gave us an opportunity to read up on regional grammar. Now we know what both modals AND double modals are.
5. You can always be surprised by the Browns.
No, really. Just when you think you've seen it all, you realize you haven't. But as every Ohio sports fan knows, there's always next year. SIGH.
6. Hobbit: good, Clue: bad.
Do you remember the terribly kitschy, slapstick melodrama that was the movie Clue? I remember seeing this movie multiple times in the 1980s; it must have been on TV a lot or something. It was so silly, yet so funny to see our beloved board game come to life. Well. This movie was chosen for viewing when Megan was here visiting over Christmas break; we decided it would be one that everyone could watch. So here's the lesson: Gracie and Bridget can cheerfully and intently watch The Hobbit with all its orcs and goblins and giant spiders without blinking an eye, but they were both trembling with terror by the end of Clue (and in Gracie's case, 2/3 of the way through—she couldn't even be in the same room she was so frightened).
Their explanation: that could really happen.
There are days we just don't grasp the inner workings of our children's brains.
6a. 1980s PG is more like 2013 PG-13.
7. Sometimes you can work really, really hard on something big and grand, only to have your attempts foiled in the last seconds by circumstances completely out of your control.
Maddie, Megan, Gracie and I learned this lesson the hard way at the science museum in Shreveport; it involved a giant dominos table and two hours of our time. It involved bitter disappointment, and feeling a little ashamed of ourselves for our feelings of bitter disappointment (and a little anger), and the purchase of candy bars to comfort us. Don't worry: no one was hurt, and it isn't really that big a deal in the great scheme of things. But it was a lesson we all learned equally, no matter our ages. It's an important one, albeit unpleasant.
8. As always, it's all about perspective.
Some years perspective is easier to come by than others. Some years you have to look harder for it, but it's usually there. I need to remember this: it's usually there.
It is how this....
...can just as easily become this, if I look harder.
(same location, different perspectives/different days)