By JENNIFER STEUER
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020 and all the potential a beginning brings. There are 365 days to make a difference locally, globally and personally. Each day that comes is a new chance to make better choices. Hopefully, those better choices build on one another and create a wave of feeling better and doing better with the ripples reaching out and bringing the same to our loved ones. Every single day is a chance to make the changes we dream of. Looking at the past and dissecting our lives is looking at things in hindsight. As we all know, hindsight is 20/20, so isn’t this the year to keep moving forward knowing that when we look back we can be proud?
This is the year that my sweet little babies turn 12. I look at baby pictures and school pictures watching them morph into new people with firm opinions about how life should be and how they are going to make the world a better place. Listening to their stories and conversations makes me feel old and re-energized at the same time. The plans Harlan and I had when I was pregnant with Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca were such simple dreams! Just remembering how being pregnant with them made me feel makes me smile. Twelve years is such a long time, and it happens in the blink of an eye.
Being a mom to three kids is a challenge. Being the mom to 12-year-old triplets is like learning to compromise with people that do not speak the same language. Being a child now is much more complicated than when Harlan and I were 12. We tell Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca what being a ‘tween was like way back when. Recently we were asked if it was the 1880s or 1980s when we grew up! I’m sure we come across as so square and clueless to them. Part of the way Harlan and I grew up helped us see what we wanted in the kids’ futures. By looking back we were able to look forward. We used our childhoods as hindsight and that ability to see 20/20, we were able to decide how we wanted to be as a couple, parents and as a family.
The world has changed in the last 33 years. Now, kids don’t wonder the streets looking for friends and something to do, or play physical sports in the real world. The virtual world is now the “real” world for kids to navigate. Books were for reading and looking up answers. A dictionary and thesaurus sat on the shelf near where homework was done. Almost everyone I knew had an encyclopedia. A card catalog was for doing research work at the library. Now, a touch screen cell phone can have overwhelming and not always appropriate information dumped at your child’s fingertips. Now, any question can be answered by Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google or Wikipedia. Knowledge is instantaneous. Asking Harlan and me is not necessary. Right now I feel like I’ve lost part of that connection with the kids. Mom and Dad are superfluous.
Sitting here at the tip-top of the January 2020 roller coaster, I have this tingle that can only be … hope. As the new calendar is tacked to the bulletin board and the old is slipped into a recycling bin, I pray that 2020 brings mostly good things. Part of having the gift of hindsight is being able to see mistakes and realize that there are ways to make better choices. I will use this gift to be a better mom for Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca. Each new choice and new path will lead me to be a better mom and wife I lead me to also be better to myself.
Keeping the momentum going is a great way to keeping spreading the possibility of a better world for all of us. Looking forward to 2020 with 20/20 vision will make for a happier environment for everyone. I believe in Olivia. I believe in Rebecca. I believe in Benjamin. I believe that my favorite 12 year olds are going to leave their marks this year. My heart is so full of love for my children. They tell me better times are coming and I believe them. Their unbridled optimism is contagious. This will be the best year ever!