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Dad’s View

If any of you are in any way similar to me (sorry about your luck), by now you’ve already blown some (or all) of your New Year’s Resolutions.  Yeah, I know we’re only days, or perhaps even hours, into 2018, but I’m pretty sure the happy li’l devil on my shoulder saying, “It’s okay–enjoy life, have cake!” has defeated the disgruntled little angel coaxing me to consume some kale.  Meaning, the resolutions were gone about as fast as that 12:00 AM bottle of champagne.  But that’s alright, I mean resolutions are just kind of like best intentions (subtle Pulp Fiction reference there).  They usually aren’t chiseled in stone, and your peeps don’t get too upset if you bail on them.  That is, unless you check out on the 12-month gym membership you both bought with the understanding that you’d be right there with them every day at 5:00 AM!  Then there are those resolutions, or best intentions, or promises that you make that you really shouldn’t oughta mess with.  No, not talking about marriage vows, but I heard those get really expensive when fractured, so let’s avoid that at all costs (pun intended).

Recently, one of my kids found their baby book.  Specifically, the oldest offspring found hers, and at the beginning her mother and I penned this soliloquy about all the hopes and dreams we had for her.  Seriously, it was like trying to read a Congressional filibuster backwards in pig Latin.  The wife and I, into brevity we were not.  We checked child #2’s book, and, lo and behold, found that we pretty much copied child #1’s baby book.  Standard operating procedure for the middle child.  Attempts to locate the third kid’s baby book were unsuccessful.  As those of you that are out-manned (more kids than parents) know,  eventually you just to get a point where you try to keep them fed and bathed, and things like baby books, photo albums and nutrition kind of go out the door.  But, back to the baby book ramblings.  At the time we wrote about our aspirations for her, she was probably a month old.  You know, kinda miniature.  Now she’s about 204 months old, and no longer miniature.  Her siblings aren’t far behind her at 174 months old and 126 months old (come on, you can do the math). All this to say, those hopes and dreams we built up are getting ready to launch into the big, bad world.  Our best intentions and promises and desires are now not just fun and fuzzy little footnotes. It’s about time to test the waters and see if we equipped them well enough to stay afloat (sorry for all the ship metaphors, just finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean again).

But after reading (AKA skimming through) all of the mushy little comments, I had second thoughts on my non-stop narrative.  After all of our hopes and all of our dreams and all of our speeches and all of our resolutions and all of our best intentions and all of our attempts to do whatever we can to make our kids successful, educated, good in sports and maybe even wealthy–at the end of the day, when we look back all we really want going forward is for them to be happy.  The whole mountain of musings I laid out could have been narrowed down to just a few words: “All I wish is for you to be happy.”  It’s kind of like reading All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten; everything you need to know is pretty simple, and doesn’t require a PhD, decades of experience, millions of dollars or a 500 word essay in a baby book.

So, as the sign says at my local gym, this is a “No Judgement Zone” (despite the enormous cro-magnons lurking around laughing at my double-digit bench press numbers)–go ahead and crack, crumble and destroy any resolutions you want.  Enjoy the cake or embrace the kale; your call.  The choice is yours, but, in whatever you do, find happiness.  It truly is contagious, and has a far greater impact on your kids and family than a bunch of baby book blathering.

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