New Years was another typical wonderful day spent with my family (sans Kathleen and Curtis, who weren’t about to make the trek up from ‘Bama). I tend to be a tad awkward around kids (being the only one in my family who never dealt with any), but I’m getting better with my nieces and nephews – especially the “newer” ones. Paige is adorable with that infectious laugh, and I thoroughly enjoy letting her eat my nose. Lucas has become such a ham that he’s quickly filling up my photo collection. And Caleb is so wide-eyed you just know something special is in there.
I feel bad about the older ones because I was still in high school, or away at college when Jack, Conner, and Kelly came along. As much as I loved them I could never figure out how to connect when I was just a teenager. I definitely lost time there, but hopefully I can make that up in the coming years – now that Jack is slowly closing in on the teenage years himself. At least he’s got a decent mindset:
Life is short, you’ve got to go with the pleasures.
That’s right, my little nephew said that. Of course he and his little sister also once described how best to marry for money. They sure do grow up quickly.
My brother-in-law Matt wanted to use part of the evening to remember his late wife, my sister Lisa. He had found a journal of sorts she had used to keep some of her favorite quotes. Apparantly she had written in it since high school. So he picked out a very appropriate selection to start off our New Year:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson