No New Year’s Resolutions

Donner Lake, CA
Donner Lake, CA

“Mom, do you make New Year’s Resolutions?” my son quietly asked as we drove down Donner Summit.

I glanced over at his fuzzy head, his cheeks tinged pink from a morning of skiing. “No, not anymore. Why?”

The water of Donner Lake sparkled to our right. He hesitated before responding.

“Just wondering. Why not?”

“Well,” I hesitated, not wanting to dim his desire for goal setting before the new year has even hit. “I just got frustrated with them, especially when they didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to.”

He sat with that for a moment. “What do you do instead?”

“I choose a word instead – kind of a mantra for the year. That seems to work better for me,” I replied.

“Oh, that’s cool. What was your word for this year?” he quickly shot back.

“I had a hard time thinking of one, to be honest. It turns out that the word just sort of came to me, eventually.”

“Well…..” he pushed further. “What was it?”

My eyes stared forward, the snow and majesty of our location dimming. “Change,” I answered quietly. “This year was about change.” I could feel the tears welling in my eyes.

“Oh.” His mouth turned up into a sly smile. “I think my word for the year will be rambunctious.”

“Really?” It came out as sort of a sputter as I tried not to laugh.

“Yeah. Rambunctious. I don’t really know what it means, but I like the way it sounds,” he stated confidently. At least he could pronounce it, I thought.

“Why don’t you look it up first before you decide?” I replied, not so sure about his choice as the rigors of his new ski academy lifestyle flashed in contradiction.

I heard the unmistakable beep of his phone. “Siri, what does ‘rambunctious’ mean?” Oh right -he is fourteen, after all.

“Rambunctious. Difficult to control or handle. Wildly boisterous. Turbulently active or noisy,” Siri acknowledged in her methodically calm voice.

“Oh.” The smile slowly left his face. “Maybe I’ll think on that.”

“Yeah, think on that,” I echoed as we turned into the parking lot. “Let’s go get some lunch. You must be hungry”

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What word would you choose as your mantra for 2014?

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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