With today being the last day of 2018 I am compelled to follow the bloggers’ unofficial code and share my thoughts on this past year. It’s been 365 days of near-constant transition, which has cut down on my writing 1, but I can’t say I’d give this year up for anything. Here’s the highlights.
We had a baby!
Yup, in the early part of 2018 my wife and I welcomed our third child into the world. He is cute, doesn’t sleep, and I can help but watch him with a sense of awe and wonder. I love watching his mind puzzle things out 2, and the sheer joy he exudes makes me melt. Because I don’t share my kids names on social media, and because “the girl” and “the boy” monikers are already taken, child number three has been dubbed “Bump.” Naturally, people on Facebook intimated that I was cheating them of knowing Bump’s actual name and tried to make me feel bad about not sharing it 3. Bump sucks up most of our free time, which has impacted the time I can find to write, but I make this as an observation not a complaint. Because I’m now wearing glasses, something my older kids didn’t have to contend with, when I play or snuggle with Bump I tend to take them off. It’s a conscious way of saying to myself, “OK, I’m here and not doing anything else.”
And I will have the child tax credit until I retire, which blows my mind.
Our eldest graduated from High School
Were it not for Bump’s arrival, this would have been the top event of 2018. High School was a rocky road for the girl, but she came out of it with a plan. Because she is a fiercely independent human-being 4, she even set up her plan on her own. She got her first job, at Chipotle, where she has worked an average of thirty hours a week. Because she is leery of taking on debt she decided to attend Rowan College of Burlington County, which is the community college extension of Rowan University, for her first two years 5. We purchased a new car for her to use, for which she is repaying us 6, and even though she’s living at home we almost never see her.
The middle child rebuilt his drum set
Just a quick note. My wife always planned on having two kids because she didn’t want anyone to be in the middle. I, on the other hand, am a middle child. I wanted three children because I wanted someone to suffer like I did. While the boy may not be a middle child in any sociological sense, given the age gap, I’m still happy I can refer to him as one 7.
I’ve always encouraged the boy to be a creator, rather than a consumer. As he possesses a creative mind it’s not too hard for him to do so, but he often lacks motivation. This past summer, however, he worked his tail off for his mom and rebuilt his drum set nearly from scratch – after watching hours of YouTube videos teaching him how to do it. He added features he wanted, like a double base pedal, and is making plans to record some of his playing for the internet. It was neat to see him go from a kid who plays drums to being a drummer. His new goal is to figure out how to become a studio drummer, which I think is pretty cool.
He also likes to ask deep questions. I mean, questions that have vexed philosophers and theologians for centuries. He makes me think when I respond to him, and that reminds me that there’s a deep human being underneath the mumbly teenage boy exterior 8.
I published a book
This was my personal highlight of the year, and it achieved a goal I’ve had since I was in high school. In The Land Of The Penny Gnomes is a satirical fantasy, filled with all sorts of nonsense and geeky humor. It made me laugh writing it, and the few reviews I’ve gotten are mostly positive. Even if the reviews weren’t positive, and if I sold zero copies, I would still celebrate this accomplishment. I created a world, populated it, told a story inside this world from start to finish, and set it out there for people to read. How cool is that?
If you’re looking for a novel to read in the new year, I recommend a journey to The Realm 9. Click/Tap the title or the cover image to purchase through Amazon.
- Both blogging and my fiction writing. ↩
- He’s now figured out how to open drawers, and has taken to exploring the house on his own whenever possible. ↩
- I’m not even making this up. I once referred to my daughter as “the girl” on Facebook, and I had people scolding me and using her real name (spelled incorrectly) to do so. I had to delete the posts and then explain to people why I didn’t use her name on social media. It was irksome, but I have no idea why people thinking sharing their infant’s full identity online is a wise idea. It’s not. ↩
- I have no idea where she gets that from. Yes, that is sarcasm. ↩
- And after she started Rowan instituted a “three plus one” program for her major. She’ll pay community college prices for three years of college and graduate with literally no debt. ↩
- Next paycheck. ↩
- I am not a nice person. ↩
- The boy refers to his mumbling as “gargooglelies.” He came up with the world. ↩
- Big shock there. ↩