Another Year

The 40th year in which I have been alive, although I only experienced 2 weeks worth of 1966.

Looking back on 2004, it was a year of changes, as were 2001 (the arrival of MonkeyBoy and Chickadee starting school), 2002 (return to work after a year's maternity leave), and 2003 (loss of my job 2 weeks after Dean took a job in Vernon, 4 hours from home). The changes this year were better than last - I started a new job, working with people I really like, and Dean found a job in Vancouver and came home. But 2004 was a fairly stressful year, and so I'm hoping 2005 is a year of stability. It would be nice if Dean found an employer who appreciated him, and the children will continue to grow and change (because the alternative would be unbearable), but I'd really like it if we made it through a year without any major upheavals.

But Dean and the kids made it all worthwhile. I am incredibly lucky to share my life with them. The feeling of small arms around my neck and sticky kisses on my cheek make the stress and strain disappear. And Dean is my shelter, my safe haven, my other half. Some days I find it hard to believe we've only been together 6 years, so completely does he know and understand me.

And I wouldn't have made it through last year without my parents, who really are amazing people. Retired, they get up at 6 am 2 days a week and drive 60km (one way) to look after my children so I can work. They transport Chickadee to and from school, go on fieldtrips with her class, spend hours at the park with MonkeyBoy, take the kids swimming, skating, to the library, do our laundry, put up our Christmas lights, build shelves, cut the lawn, weed the garden, wash the car ... They stay for dinner on Wednesdays (because I insisted - my mother wanted to make dinner for us then leave without eating), but depart as soon as we get home from work on Thursdays because they think we need time alone as a family. Dean and I have tried to argue that their presence is not a burden (we really do enjoy spending time with them) but my mother is convinced that it's too hard on our relationship to have to eat with them 2 days a week. My father probably knows otherwise, but is smart enough not to argue with my mother when she gets ideas like this.

I still make the effort, but I usually lose. My mother is small, but determined.

And I love them both. I love them all - Dean, Chickadee, MonkeyBoy, my parents, my siblings, my family, my friends. They are my life.