- Number of times I heard a Katy Perry song on the radio: 4,509,611*
- Number of Katy Perry songs I’m not tired of that they play on the radio: 1 (“Baby you’re a firework!”)**
- Number of times my son has begged me for something: 5,415*
- Number of times my head nearly exploded from all the begging: 3,599*
- Number of actual explosions: 2 (I’m very patient)
- Number of imaginary parties my daughter has planned: 10* (the candy corn party is coming soon, I’m told)
- Number of times I have cleaned up vomit: 31* (many of those times were actually in the toilet and required minimal scrubbing on my part; the kids are getting good!)
- Number of times I took a kid to a doctor’s office: Too damn many. And why are all the good doctors in the next city? Seriously, Tampa is a freakin’ mini-metropolis, you’d think the best specialists would be here rather than over the bridge in St. Petersburg, but no.
- Number of times I saw a medical specialist: Not enough. I still haven’t made it to physical therapy for my herniated discs and it’s getting hard to type sometimes so you’d think I’d make that a priority.
- Number of pets we added: Two rabbits and one dog, which makes three dogs, two rabbits, and a tank of fish, if you’re keeping track. (Don’t. It’s mind boggling.)
- Number of pets we subtracted: One. RIP, Mr. Aquatic Frog.
- Number of rabbit shows I attended: Four. I’m guessing that’s four more than you've been to in your entire life.
- Number of magazine articles I wrote: 347*
- Number of magazine articles I wrote that had something to do with dogs: 347*
- Number of writing ruts I’m in: One
- Number of work-related trips I took: Two
- Number of vacations I took: Zero. Good thing I like my work!
- Number of Enrique Iglesias songs that creep me out: One. Tonight you are not loving me, Enrique. No way.
- Number of pounds I've lost: 7
- Number of pounds I've gained: 7. DAMN IT!
- Number of awesome people I cyber-know, including authors, TV producers, dog trainers, actors, former high school classmates, and random people who like the same TV shows I do: Too many to count. Thanks twitter and facebook!
2010 brought me closer to understanding my son and his problems, and named them for me in a way that made things easier to research and understand (Tourette’s Syndrome “Plus”). The process has been painful and difficult, but ultimately rewarding. I will give him every advantage he deserves in order to maintain his self-confidence and maximize his potential in school. He already amazes his teachers with his intelligence and eerie “40-year-old man in a seven-year-old body” answers to their questions. My goal is for him to be as comfortable handling his Tourette’s at age 17 as he is now (“What’s that noise? Oh, that’s my Tourette’s. Sometimes I squeak. Want to go play hide-and-seek?). I admire his sense of self and confidence.
2010 saw my daughter grow and blossom. No longer the quiet, frail, “she used to be sick” girl, she’s now talkative, imaginative, and brave. Though still small, she is a force to be reckoned with. And she’s not just a pretty (and somewhat dramatic) picture. She’s well on her way to being a four-year-old reader with handwriting that puts many kindergarteners to shame. I no longer think that our children will be categorized as “the smart one” and “the pretty one.” She’s going to give her brother a run for his money, and she’s going to be fashionably dressed while doing it. She’s my hero.
2010 brought my husband a job he really likes with co-workers and bosses who appreciate his hard work and loyalty. It’s amazing how those attributes are often swept under the rug by employers who notice the squeaky wheel rather than the guy who always gets his job done, and done well. Thankfully, his new company “gets it.”
2010 gave me more work than ever before, and more of an itch to expand into new things. I’m finally finding my creative side. It took a long time, and I’m not letting it slide away under the demands of paying work and doctors’ appointments, even if it means I don’t sleep much. The year also delivered me a slow-awakening realization that I’m kind of “different” from a lot of women my age, and a lot of women with young children in general. I'm still coming to grips with it, but it's kind of a relief, actually. I’m tired of trying to fit in and always feeling like I’m a just a little behind. I’m a believer in working hard to fix your problems rather than just complaining about them. But now I’m kind of seeing that maybe my shortcomings aren’t such a big problem. They just are. I’m just me. And if my lack of proper footwear, unmanicured nails, and wardrobe made up of almost entirely black, brown, and denim makes people look at me funny, well, I guess they can just enjoy the laugh. I think I’ll laugh with them.
All-in-all, it’s been an OK year. Hard, but we're better people for it: more understanding, more educated, less judgmental, less aggravated, more happy. And we have some things lined up for 2011 that will hopefully make it even better. I’m hoping it will be full of weird and wonderful adventures of the kind that generally only happen to me. I’m ready!
*Some numbers in this article are estimates.
**I bought her most recent album, though, and it’s really very good. Katy Perry is everywhere for a reason, and it’s not (just) because she has great boobs.
(Buy this. It's good!---------------------------------------------------->)