I always look forward to a brand-new year – it’s like starting over with a clean slate. But, I want to take a few moments and reflect back on my 2017. It was a challenging year in some respects, but I like to view challenges as learning experiences and opportunities for personal growth. I had many positive experiences in 2017 – here are of few of the highlights.
Of course, many of the happiest times involve my friends, family, and mostly, my grandchildren. My oldest grandson, Brennan, celebrated his 15th birthday and got his driver’s permit last year. He’s always been a very responsible kid, but I had forgotten what it was like be in the car with a new driver! When he first obtained the permit, my oldest son, Matt, was in town and he let Brennan drive (my car, of course) into town to pick up a pizza. When they got back, Matt said that Brennan had driven very well; but he didn’t mention the two stop signs he missed until a few weeks later! Brennan has a lot more driving experience under his belt now and it has been fun watching him grow up. Last November, he was inducted in to the National Honor Society at Bay City High School, and I was one proud grandma.
My grandson, Noah, is the creative one in the family and I’m always willing to support any creative endeavor. So, when he told me he wanted to learn to play the guitar, I was very excited. I acquired a used guitar from a friend and set up lessons for him. It’s been fun watching him learn. I also enjoy Noah’s youthful exuberance about Christmas. Since he was old enough to walk, he has always decorated the house and begs me to take him to the store to buy Christmas decorations. He has two Christmas trees in his bedroom, lights, reindeer, you name it! One evening, Noah and I drove by a home that had every inch of the yard filled with lighted reindeer, Santas, etc. “That is what my house is going to look like when I grow up,” he said.
My youngest grandchild, Elijah, was 18 months old in December. He learned to walk in 2017 and says a few words – mama and dada – but mostly, he speaks a language that only he understands. I’ve been trying to teach him to call me grandma, nana, or something! But, he just shakes his head and smiles. So, I was a little surprised when I was playing cars with him and he finally spoke. I pushed one of his toy cars across the floor and said, “vroom! vroom!” He looked at me and very clearly repeated it. Just a little frustrated, I replied, “you can say vroom but you won’t say grandma?” He shook his head and smiled, “vroom! vroom!”
I had many good times in 2017 – playing golf, vacationing in the cabin up north, birthday celebrations, hockey games, and gatherings with friends. But it’s the little moments that make me smile that I remember the most. I look forward to making more memories this year!