We come now to the last day of the year, and the last day of our trip around the sun together. Thank you for making it with me to the 366th day of this trip. At Christmas, my mom commented “I’m surprised that you carried it on as long as you did.” Yeah Mom, trust me, I was surprised I made it as far as Day Ninety, much less Day Three Hundred Sixty Six!!
Mommy and I are ringing in the new year with what you might expect from a family with young kids: a quiet evening in, with some of our favorites. We have a cheese ball, taco dip, and a spinach dip, along with a bottle of white wine. What a year we’ve had. At the beginning of the year, J was just a newborn, hated even to be placed on his tummy. Now he’s a walking, running, confident, into-everything little boy. M was two, and now she’s closer to four than three. In Day One, Mommy had to push M on the swing. Now M pumps herself.
Words lie, and pictures lie even more. You can make yourself look like whatever you want in a blog. But I hope what has come through most of all in this year has been a sense of authenticity, that I’ve been real to you, and not just a contrived mirage of myself, with a postcard-perfect house, car, job, family, church, and yard. I’m pretty damn lucky, but I shared a picture of a hole in my ceiling, or the chaos that comes after a long weekend, or the disaster that was Mother’s Day when none of my kids slept. In these pages, day by day, you’ve seen triumph and disaster; winning a $291 million contract extension and the prospect of losing my job. You’ve seen J get well from severe reflux that caused his weight to be in <1st percentile at 8 weeks old. And you’ve seen us words completely fail me at mention of scary words, like “cancer”. You’ve seen my kids at some of their best, and my kids at some of their worst. I hope that, if nothing else, you enjoyed the stories that come with looking over the shoulder of a regular guy like me.
I like the words of Thoreau, reflecting why he chose to end his experiment in living on Walden Pond; “I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854. And now, after having gone through 366 days of The Life In a Day, this will be the last post from the life in a day. It’s time to leave these woods. It’s time to try something new. I already have my next creative venture in mind. Who knows how it will turn out? Then again, I started back on Day One wondering how this would turn out and, well, look at us now.
Before you go, though, I ask this one thing of you. Please leave a comment on this post, just to say you were here. If you had a favorite photo, or a favorite post, I’d love to know what it was. I recognize that sometimes it’s a good picture and a ho-hum writeup, and other times vice-versa. But I’d love to hear something you liked best, and maybe a little bit about why.
My Christmas gift to both sides of my family this year is a book containing each of these pictures, and a full-length copy of each of the significant posts, including this one. Thank you all for sharing the journey with me. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for sharing our laughter. And, above all, thanks for listening. I leave you now with the words of benediction at my own wedding; July 9, 2005, at Bayside Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Rev. Dr. Richard Keever officiating:
“Go now in peace and joy and as you go, remember: By the goodness of God you were brought into this world. By the grace of God you have been kept, even until this very hour, and by the love of God you have been set free for a marvelous purpose. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you now, and forevermore.”