Typically I make New Years resolutions, as does nearly half of the American adult population. And typically I don't follow through with them. Apparently neither do over half of the people that make resolutions. (Statistics found at www.proactivechange.com/resolutions/statistics). So this called for a change in my approach.
This year, rather than resolutions I have decided to make a bucket list...with input from the most important little person in my life - my 6 year old daughter! I don't want to downplay the importance of goal setting, but this was something fun that we could create together and it will help me to carve out some more "mommy and me" time over the course of the next year. As a solo parent, finding the time to truly just enjoy being with your child is very challenging - there's always a house to clean, meals to cook, errands to run...If you're a fellow single parent, you know what I mean! So with no further adieu, here is our 2012 bucket list, with 12 things to do together over the next 12 months:
- Go hiking. I've never taken Libby on a hike (tisk, tisk!) and she has no idea what she's missing! I want her to learn to have a love for nature!
- Help Libby make an entire meal. Libby is an aspiring chef. :) For Christmas she asked for (and got!) a baking set for kids and, as a bonus, she also got a kid friendly cookbook. She's already made pancakes but she can't wait to try to make an entire dinner, just like Mommy does!
- Go horseback riding. While we never had horses growing up, I was still able to enjoy them through visits to a family member's horse farm in Versailles, KY...and I loved riding! I even took riding lessons briefly as a child. Libby needs to experience this!
- Take Kloe to PetSmart. Yes, Kloe is our dog. And yes, I realize that to other people, bringing the dog along to PetSmart is just part of it...it may be the norm. But for us, going to PetSmart means a 30-40 minute car ride one-way and the dog has never accompanied us. 2012 is the year, Kloe! (Can you guess who came up with this one?) :)
- Camp in backyard. I've never been much of a camper. Our family didn't camp together...unless you count the time that we stayed with my grandparents in an RV for a couple nights. I feel like camping is something that most families do because it's "dad's thing". But I don't want Libby to miss out just because we don't have a man in our house. So I'm going to suck it up and brave the wilderness...or at least our backyard!
- Volunteer together. Not sure what this will be but I have some ideas...just have to wait and see what God has in store for us!
- Fly a kite. OK, I have a confession...are you ready? I have never, ever, not even once taught Libby how to fly a kite. I know, I know...I'm definitely out of the running for parent-of-the-year now. All I can say is that life happens, we get busy, and I haven't always necessarily done the things with her that I've wanted to do...hence, a bucket list.
- Paint at CAC. The CAC is our local Community Arts Center and they have a really neat program called Starry Nights Studio. On select dates, you can pay a fee for group instruction and art supplies to paint a replica of various works of art. There are only select dates when children are welcome. (When it's adults-only, you are also permitted to BYOBeverage of choice.) Several other cities have similar programs, such as Sips n Strokes in Louisville.
- Go ice skating. Libby cried when I mentioned this...mostly because she has tried roller skating and was not very successful. Practice makes perfect, I assured her. This is yet another experience I think every child should have.
- Deliver balloons to hospital patients. This may seem obscure but last year we were challenged by our church to get out and demonstrate love to our community. Libby and I delivered balloons. The looks on their faces, both the young and the old, were priceless. So we've gotta do this again! (If you decide to try this, remember to use Mylar balloons!)
- Plant flowers. I wanted to plant a tree. Libby wanted to plant flowers. You can see who won that argument! I have to admit, I'm now looking forward to it. Last year I planted our first vegetable garden and this year I guess I'll also have some flowers to tend to.
- Go to drive-in movie. I've said every year for at least the last 3 years, "This is the summer I'm going to take Libby to the drive-in. Really. We're going to do it this year." Yet, it never happened. THIS is the year!