In 2012 I managed to offend a few people, mostly by having humanistic social views. One of the people who still likes me the way I am is my sweet grandson Brody. I am unlikely to amend my personal constitution, having long ago determined that my moral compass is pointing me in the right direction, but if I've made a new year's resolution, that is to keep my more controversial feelings to myself. My goal is a report card which displays "plays well with others" with a big checkmark next to it.
I used to point out to my endlessly squabbling children that they were quite free to STOP ARGUING because of course, it is impossible for ONE person to argue. As incentive, I was careful to emphasize that the first person to be quiet is essentially the winner. Also, all parents hate listening to children argue almost as much as they hate listening to a baby cry at three in the morning. I would have promised them anything.
It's important for
everyone me to remember that arguing has never changed anyone's mind, no matter how sincerely we believe it's the only thing that will change anyone's mind.
It's been four years since all the kids and I have taken a picture together, and it never gets any easier to pick one that we all like. If I had known that they were all smiling and not hitting, I would have pulled in my stomach and tried to look more festive. And yes, that is brown paper taped all over the carpet and walls; Annie's house was being painted over the holidays.
Mister Carson enjoyed decorating the tree, and also enjoyed undecorating it.
The kitten (who continues to grow at an alarming rate) thinks I am perfect and agrees with me about almost everything, except pestering the other cats.
You remember the parable of the dog in the manger; all the cats wanted simultaneous access to the sink, but none of them wished to share or take turns. Mister Carson is the pushiest and bulkiest, so he commandeered my [shamefully cluttered] bathroom counter while the other two hung around and complained and were grumpy. This was just moments before someone took the first swat; ending the fragile cease-fire for the three hundredth time in the two months he's been here.