Asterisks*

Askterisks

Seeing as there is no way in hell I am going to be able to maintain any typical New Year’s Resolutions, especially scream at kids less, I had to really think long and hard if I was to come up with any kind of list.  In the midst of jotting down not completely impossible resolutions such as: quit thinking I can afford anything from Tory Burch, even from her outlet store and complain less that I can’t write well, because all I read is U.S. Weekly I get an email from my husband.  He forwarded me a sweet note he had written to our dear friends The Popritkins.

The Popritkins had experienced a stellar Christmas. Their son, like ours, enjoyed the holiday in a “typical” way for the very first time. We were thrilled for one another.  In response to our kick ass year, which I assume will be repeated because as I write I hear J.R. screaming “I WANT CHRISTMAS BAAAAAAAAAACK DAMNIT!” from the other room, Tim reflects:

It is the day after Christmas 2011 and I’m amazingly happy at how well yesterday went.  J.R. understood that it was Christmas, was so hyped up that Santa had come to see him and he was so excited to get the gifts he asked for and even a few he didn’t ask for.  Dylan knew it was Christmas, enjoyed opening presents, loved his gifts and that Santa came to visit him.  Normally is the time in any conversation we have (and I don’t just mean with each other, but with the whole world) where we feel compelled to add a caveat or an asterisk noting something along the lines of: “Well, at least for JR (or Dylan).” or “At least he did as well as he could…”, etc.  This year however, I won’t look back on with an asterisk or a qualifier.  It isn’t that one isn’t necessarily called for because it basically goes without saying that such will always be the case with them, but for the first time it meant something to them and that is something I hope we all cherish.  

It was a beautiful piece that brought tears to my eyes. Naturally though, Tim went on to poke fun at the fact that our kids will probably ask for age inappropriate gifts for the rest of their lives, (and poke even more fun at Lawrence Popritkin’s general Grinch-like demeanor, hee hee), but what has stayed with me is this concept of asterisks.

My asterisks, used to “explain” J.R., have come in many forms.  There’s the *well he had fun, in his own way and the *just think, J.R. couldn’t do that a year ago. And who can forget my greatest hit- *we’d love to be able to join you, but J.R. just might (fill in the blank with any behavior that may embarrass me).  Dropping asterisks (wow that sounded dangerously close to dropping acid, which I am confident produces a trip that mirrors my daily life anyway) has little to do with deciding to simply accept J.R. for who he is.  It has more to do with exhaustion, really.  Let’s be honest, even IF J.R. passes for “normal” (and I can’t grasp why that would be my goal anyway) he gives himself away the second he opens his mouth and says “Hello there; I think you are an idiot.  Goodbye.” Need I say more?  My exact point!  I don’t need to expend any more of my diminishing energy by adding more words to my sentences, whether they be qualifiers or curse words.  Not to scare you, but I actually speak in longer sentences than I write.

I will now attempt to put my resolution to practice.  Read the next paragraph carefully, and I promise you there are no multiple choice questions that follow:

Let me tell you what my seven year old will be up to this coming year. J.R. is going to complete the second grade.  His school’s culminating activity will be a performance of The Lion King, and he will be singing “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” Before we know it, his eighth birthday will be here which means a bounce house rental will ensue. Woop! Summer will involve blonde hair turning swimming pool green. And in a blink of an eye, it will be time to dust of The Polar Express and anticipate another wonderful Christmas. 

Writing those six sentences was quite liberating, I must admit!  I CAN refer to my son without downplaying, warning, or apologizing.  I’ve gone sans asterisks for a whole 98 words; I see some growth (in myself) already! And if I stray from my most gratifying resolution to date? I have these lyrics to lift me up*:

I’m gonna be a noble king
Unscrupulously fair
I only need a little time
Perhaps a little hair

I’m gonna be the mane event
Like no king was before
I’m brushing up on looking down
I’m working on my roar

Oh, I just can’t wait to be king

*note I didn’t even mention how TIRED I will become, hearing J.R. repeat these lyrics over and over and over and over from now until May, 2011?  I’m so proud of myself!

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