Getting a New Year Started Off Right

Amy Rees
January 2, 2012

Ah, the new year. 

A clean slate, a fresh start. White, crisp sheets of paper ready for the next chapter of your family's story. 

A time of possibility, predictions, and promises. Resolutions and reflections.

Do you have rituals to start the year off? Good luck charms like black-eyed peas or grapes or long, slurpy noodles to eat? A book you always leaf through—perhaps an album of pictures from life before babies, or an airy flight of a favorite poem, or the brass tacks of a favorite parenting book as a day-one refresher course?

Do you keep a journal, marking where your little one as this year opens? Do you write down a couple of recent phrases or doings on a post-it note and call it a "journal" instead? 

Do you make a list of bests or funniests or worsts in your family's last year? Do you make resolutions for the year ahead? Are they big and sweeping, or are they one-off and discrete? (The latter kind is easier to keep, we find.)

What runs through this all is the new year's prompt to have us look around. Look back, look forward, just for pete's sake look up! So much of what we do as parents concerns the day—the morning, the next meal, bedtime, the next five minutes sometimes. And that is the real measure of our children's lives, it seems. They are quintessentially "in the moment," and we live with them in those moment-long lifetimes again and again each day.

From the Parents

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