We had an epic dance party, complete with confetti and party hats. After our ‘special’ dinner we put on all of our favourite, danceable songs. Starting with Shut Up and Dance with Me. The kids were asleep by 8.30. They had a blast but have still been exhausted, both getting over ‘Round 2: Coughs for the Win’ of the season. Us parents had a blast too. Who needs clubs when your dining room doubles as a dance floor? And you get to choose the tunes?!
During dinner we talked about some of our favourite things we did this year. Sebastian’s was meeting Winter and Hope and our week in Clearwater, Florida. (Thanks Sunshine Dream). And using the eye gaze. He is looking forward to getting his own early in the new year. Tallula loved starting play school and having her birthday party with friends at the park. She also loved starting Spanish classes and making new friends.
Ali and I reminisced about our travels; the friends we visited in Baltimore and DC, and later in the year separate independent trips to Boston, DC, Montreal, and Mexico City. Driving around the thumb of Michigan, along Lake Huron, to Grandma and Papa’s. Cousins. We also remembered the friends and family that visited us here in Toronto. We are looking forward to our BIG trip to Australia in April. It’s easy to get bogged down by the daily grind and forget those moments of adventure, friendship, and love we’ve spent a good amount of our year experiencing. Especially when the second half of the year saw us unable to travel outside of Canada.
We also talked about the things that were challenging/difficult in our lives and the world around us. Enough to understand that the life we live (and the world we live in) is not without challenges and heartache, but it is a good one.
Some personal accomplishments: I got a bike, so we did a lot of riding this spring, summer and into the fall. I read three books (my -realistic-goal!). And wrote one for NanoWrimo. (!!!) I also opened my etsy shop! I fought hard for Sebastian to get access to the eye gaze and he’s finally going to get his own. Tallula and I started Spanish classes together and I watched her start swim classes all on her own. I watched both kids start at new schools and have done my best to go with the flow, though sometimes I have to make waves. Ali and I had our first overnight without the kids (my first ever) since Seb was born! Which also lead to our independent adventures and talk of more together as we head into our tenth year of marriage.
We talked about our hopes for the New Year: a home without barriers (‘ramps everywhere!’ says Tallula), maybe (hopefully) a service dog for Sebastian. Driving less. Living more in our community. Living in a community where both of our children can go to the same school. Finishing my book and putting my children’s book out into the great wide world. Knowing more about what Sebastian is thinking because he can tell me with his eye gaze. Reading more of the stories that he loves to write. Watching Tallula grow and learn and love with a heart that is bigger than I ever could have imagined. And being there alongside her to do it and knowing when to let go for her to do it on her own. I can’t speak for Ali’s hopes but I know he has them too. I know that he will continue to work towards his own goals and keep learning Spanish, while also teaching Tallula. That he and Sebastian will watch more football and soccer games together and get faster on the ice together. That he will show them part of his own history when we visit Australia.
May each over you find the brightness in your darker days, because they always come. May you recognize your happiness and embrace it because it is always somewhere inside of you. May you feel love from those around you. And may you have the courage to create dreams and take a single step towards them. All the best to you and yours as we embrace and new year ahead!