2 oz. spiced rum
2 oz. apple cider or juice
1 tsp. honey (to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Splash of ginger ale or ginger beer (to taste - I used Jamaican ginger beer)
Combine all ingredients except ginger ale in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a large martini glass. Top with a splash of ginger ale.
I really love fall. Geek that I am, I always loved starting a new school year, with the fresh pencils, the new books, the stiff new shoes, and seeing how much everyone changed over the summer. Now that I work in a university and also have children, I get to re-capture some of that mojo. I also love fall leaves, that slight crispness in the air, the bright, filtered sunlight before it gets really cold. Also, boots.
Being Jewish, it's also a new year for me and my peeps. We eat apples and honey to celebrate the sweetness of getting to another year. We wear new clothes. We repent of our sins and make amends to those we've hurt in preparation for Yom Kippur (the day of atonement). It's a shiny, fresh start. In that vein, I've been thinking about things I can do better, things I can begin to do that I haven't been doing, and things I need to stop doing. Most of it is what we all want - eat healthier, exercise more, be more patient with my children and parents, exhibit more kindness and gratitude in my daily life, be more organized.
Unfortunately, the one place where I'd rather not make fresh starts all the time is parenting. It seems like just as I master one developmental stage, Tink and Tweak move on to the next thing, and the game changes. I never get to bask in having figured it all out, and unlike some (I'm talking to you, Gwyneth), I don't have the metaphorical balls to fake it. I like to think that if I had to repeat the infant/toddler/preschool stages with a third child (which is not going to happen), I would rock the house, because I'd know what was important and what to disregard, and I wouldn't feel such pressure to perform. No way in hell am I testing that theory, but still.
So I wonder, what would it be like to try to project some of that ninja-Zen mothering mindset into my kids' current stages? What if I took a deep breath and stepped back and focused on the bigger picture of what I'm really trying to teach them, and I only paid attention to the things that lined up with those goals? What if I differentiated between my own anxiety and what's actually going on with my kids? What if I tended to my own business instead of focusing so much on controlling them? Easier said than done, I know, but I think I'm onto something.
This afternoon, if you see me driving home in ye olde minivan, with my kids fighting like rabid beavers, which is totally a thing around here, over whether Sarah is Kyleigh's best friend anymore, or whether Wonder Woman could beat up Spiderman (answer: of course!), or whose hoodie sweatshirt is softer (an actual argument they had this morning), I may be blasting pop music to drown them out and singing along loudly like they're not in the car. Don't worry. It's part of the process. Happy New Year!