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The Most Unforgettable Moments of 2017 (The Best, The Worst)

The calendar did that flip, flip, swish, swish thing again, and it’s almost 2018. And so, tonight, I look at the most unforgettable moments of 2017 (the best, the worst).

2017 holds wonder and light, and also intense grief and loss. I suppose all years do, although some are better than worse.

2017 was the year I learned to look for butterflies, through unexpected grief.

It was also the year my son made strides toward meeting his goal of growing his hair long enough for a man-bun.

It was the year he posed in a wax museum with the Men in Black (and the year we let him watch the movie).

The Most Unforgettable Moments of 2017 (The Best, The Worst)

Time.

Time is a funny strange thing.

Each life, no matter how long or too brief, contains moments where everything fades away. Some of those moments are ones of glory.

They pass us quickly, although we return to them often. Those liminal moments, when time stands still because everything is just as it’s supposed to be.

It’s often small things, rather than large.

A ball caught rather than missed.

A joke that flew rather than fell.

Pants fitting just right.

The time we said exactly what we wanted to – no more, no less.

Love, returned.

Each life, no matter how long or too brief, contains moments where everything fades away. Some of those moments are ones where time stops.

They pass us quickly, although we return to them often. Those liminal moments, when time stands still because everything went the opposite of how it was supposed to be.

It’s often small things, rather than large.

A mistake made that can’t be taken back no matter how hard we wish.

Scary results from a routine screening.

Too-tight clothes and self-loathing.

That time when we tried to say what we meant but failed, and we can’t take it back or right the ripples our words left in the life of another.

Love, walked away from.

Each life, no matter how long or too brief, contains moments where everything fades away

Time.

It’s a funny thing.

No matter the number of years that mark our faces, each of us can recall a minute when we thought “it’d be okay if I die now, because this happened,” although something usually happens next so that we forget that feeling, and are no longer ready to go, if only to get all of the socks under the couch laundered and into a drawer in whoever’s room they belong in.

Time.

Time is a funny strange thing.

So liquid, flowing too fast at times and frozen solid at others.

In looking at the most unforgettable moments of 2017 (The Best, The Worst), I see that around this time last year, I was wondering what 2017 would bring.

The worst president in the history of history was elected. I marched. I worried about education, and other kids with special needs finding grace in kindergarten.

I look back a year ago and remember my little boy’s words. They were about finding a wife and about what 2017 might bring us.

“Mommy, I should wait to find a wife until I’m 30, right?”

“Well, yes, ideally, but sometimes finding-a-partner-love happens sooner or later, and sometimes we think we’ve found it but we were wrong.”

“But how will I know if she picked me?”

“Oh buddy, it’s not about her picking you. It’s about you picking each other by accident and having fun while eating nachos or burgers and all of a sudden, you’ve done that like a bunch of times, and you realize you would rather eat burgers or nachos with that person more than anybody else.”

“I like eating nachos and burgers with you,” he says.

And I hid my tears, because although he’s seven now, he’s also still more mine than the future’s, although the future sits on my nightstand.

Back then, I wrote “2017 will be filled with grief and despair, and we know this. It will also be filled with milestones, light, magic and little kid’s voices telling us that they need us at 3am. The 3am part is both, friends. It’s both light and memories and also weariness and unrest.

Like life, and like 2017. Like all of the years, gifted to us.”

I feel that as 2018 is around the corner, too.

The future still sits on my nightstand. Whispering that 2018 is right around the corner. 2017 has almost passed, and what will I remember?

Now, my boy is eight. EIGHT, and he’s soon to be taller than I.

And although he leaves stinky socks all around the house (mostly by the couch) and asks me difficult questions, my hopes for 2018 remain similar to mine for 2017.

The boy? He’s still hoping to grow a man-bun.

Also, he is fabulous. Eight is as fabulous as each year that’s passed, although I miss those years sometimes. I miss little-him. Sometimes.

But eight is glorious with man-bun growing hair, a lopsided grin, and human questions, when once, I’d wondered whether he’d ever speak.

He asks questions.

May we each grow beyond our grief, beyond our hopes, and become better people this year.

May we shake the annoyance of a young person’s voice asking for forever more more more to remember that in a few years, he may shut us out to be with teenage peers.

Let’s take this time now to know that our voices are the ones our kids will hear in their head when they’re “elders” one day, the way we hear the voices of our own parents in these middle aged years.

OMG let us accept that we’re f$#%ng middle aged now, in spite of not feeling much different from our 20-something selves, when Billy Idol wanted to Rebel Yell with us.

Yes, that was us.

But this us is us, now.

Middle aged.

It’s me, now.

And it’s good and fine and there are too &^%%$ wrinkles on my face, but also?

The wrinkles? We earned them, friends. Totally and completely.

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “This year…”

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  • JT Walters - This year my first book will be published, I will have (1) art exhibition and Alex returns. The first to are for me but the last is my only real wish!December 28, 2017 – 11:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Happy New Year Kristi! And may 2018 bring you many moments of joy, growth, acceptance, love and an awesome man-bun. 🙂December 29, 2017 – 9:42 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Emily! Happy happy new year to you! Here’s to all of those things for you and yours (although maybe your boys aren’t hoping for a man-bun but you know, other than that 😉December 29, 2017 – 10:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Beautiful, as always, Kristi.

    Bad year in so many ways, but personally it was long awaited and I wasn’t about to let a certain foolish man child ruin that.

    Future on your nightstand. What a symbolic image that is.

    As for and speaking of this is us…the show returns on Tuesday night and I can’t think of a better way to start off 2018, but that’s just me.

    Happy New Year’s Kristi and I may just combine my end-of-the-year reflections post with both Ten Things of Thankful and FTSF.December 30, 2017 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Kerry and yes, it’s important to not let that manchild ruin things but wow it’s hard to avoid the confusion and anger and… I can’t wait for This is Us again! I so hope you end up linking up with Ten Things and FTSF. Happy happy New Year, my friend. I hope 2018 is fabulous for you (I know it will be!). xoDecember 31, 2017 – 12:57 amReplyCancel

  • Dana - Middle aged is me now too, and most of the time, that’s okay. Wrinkles are life lines – years of smiling and laughing and scrunching up the head in concentration. May 2018 bring more laughter and smiling, and less of all the bad stuff. And a lunch or two with you.December 30, 2017 – 3:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to way more smiles and at LEAST a lunch or two with you. I try to remember that wrinkles are lifelines but wowza sometimes I look in the mirror and am surprised, dangit. Happy New Year, Dana!December 31, 2017 – 1:05 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I really can’t wait to see the man-bun!
    Again, as always, you put into words what I feel inside – that these kids are still more ours than the future. So true. For now. It’s a beautiful and terrifying thing.
    I hope the year ahead is a good one for us all, in all the ways we need it to be. xoxoJanuary 1, 2018 – 10:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ll definitely post manbun photos. And yeah, to the beautiful and terrifying. I hope 2018 is great for all of us as well. So much. XOXOJanuary 3, 2018 – 12:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - 2017 was a shite year for us! It, literally, sent me to the Sanitarium! I definitely need 2018 to be better, so I am all for that rebel yell!!!!January 3, 2018 – 6:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH to the Sanitarium! No more can they keep us in!
      Listen, damn it, we will win!
      Here’s to rebel yelling really effing loud and changing the whole wide world. xoJanuary 3, 2018 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - This is perfect.
    I LOVE the picture of Tucker with Men in Black. How cool is that. And I cannot believe how much your little man looks like you! More and more all the time. I can’t wait to see a picture of his man-bun.
    I hope this year is better than last year. Maybe DT will be impeached?
    Hugs.January 4, 2018 – 2:46 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - OMG from your lips. DT being impeached would be wonderful. Perfect! I’ll be sure to post some man bun photos 😉 and Happy New Year, my friend! xoJanuary 4, 2018 – 3:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I think this time last year I was still in denial about 45. I can’t believe a year later that hasn’t been resolved. Sigh.

    I can’t wait for the debut of Tucker’s man bun. Maybe by his birthday/beach week?

    And Will Smith looks so real. They didn’t do as good with Tommy Lee Jones. Maybe they had a hard time trying to put in his wrinkles. LOL!January 7, 2018 – 5:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Right? Tommy’s face looks saggy or something but Will’s looks awesome… Maybe the man bun by this summer/birthday/beach, unless he cuts it off before then? I think he thinks about cutting it off but doesn’t want the attention of “omg Tux, you cut your hair!” and all that goes with it. We’ll see… And yeah, I’m in denial about 49. Gulllllllp. January 7, 2018 – 9:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Lux - Oh that is a beautiful way of putting things into perspective. Yes, time is fleeting. And the moments we hold dear are gone before we even notice. But the memories remain. Time is so important. That’s a favorite gift of mine to receive and give.January 8, 2018 – 3:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Lux! And yes, the memories remain, thank goodness. Time goes too quickly sometimes for me!January 18, 2018 – 1:34 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - **A ball caught rather than missed.

    A joke that flew rather than fell.

    Pants fitting just right.

    The time we said exactly what we wanted to – no more, no less.

    Love, returned.**

    beautiful, darling!

    OMGgggosh, and that photo above w/ Tucker and Men In Black, CLASSIC & Priceless. xxx from MN.January 13, 2018 – 1:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sorry I just saw this Kim! Thank you thank you thank you and I love that photo, too! xoxoxo right back at you.January 18, 2018 – 3:04 pmReplyCancel

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