As my 30th birthday looms just six months away, I spend a lot of time pondering the big picture. It is not so much that I will miss my twenties, but that I can suddenly forsee my life as a woman with a teenaged son. Fast forward just a decade and a half, and there you have it.  Who will that woman be?

 

with Hubby, at a friend's wedding in 2007 shortly before my pregnancy

with Hubby, at a friend's wedding in 2007 shortly before my pregnancy

Last night, my best friend called on her way home from work. Part of our conversation, of course, covered the latest milestones for Little J, and she asked, with irony in her voice, if I had him wait-listed for preschool yet. I said, no way. I was truly hoping to be the kind of parent who leads by example, thus allowing me to enroll him in the nearest middle-of-the-road nursery school to our home.  I envision him being a regular kid, to begin with, anyway.

I have certainly heard of parents assigning their babies to a particular school, getting amped up to start their kid off on the right foot, education-wise. But I always thought that if my husband and I expressed our own values of college (where we met), our son would inherently know the importance of learning, and not need the school with 300 crayons and special playground equiptment.  It surely wouldn’t be until 9th grade that I should freak out, would it?  This might show my ignorance — just what do the better nursery schools in California have anyway?

My point of this blog post, however, is to say that I have been thinking a lot about what kind of good habits I want to instill in myself, so that I am the cool, laid-back, yet upstanding example that I keep telling you all that I want to be.

  • Does this mean that my hair always looks good, or at least satisfactory?
  • Does this mean that I am constantly reading the latest books and articles on child development, safety standards, and health?
  • Does this mean that I make the time and save enough money for trips to educational places like Washington DC and the Grand Canyon?
  • Does it mean that I cook 5 days a week with fresh produce and pack lunches for everyone in the family, like my mother did?
  • Does this mean that I still am interested in the lives of others, especially my friends without children? And that I spend some time each day on my personal interests?

 

At the top of the January Resolutions list:

Do not get fat and frumpy.
Indeed, this sounds shallow at first. But I believe that maintaining a healthy weight is at the very core of being a happy person. I am doing an okay job so far, but I can see the slippery slope ahead. When I feel out of shape, out the window goes my sex life and my enthusiasm for buying clothes that fit well. Again, to lead my children by example, I should avoid the quick trips to the fast food drive through, as soon as possible. I doesn’t matter that I order chicken sandwiches and iced tea. A family gal plans her meals in advance, including lunch! Which leads me to my second resolution:

Keep a grocery list.
I never do this. It just seems like the last thing I remember to pack in my purse when running out the door. I rely on memory and inevitable forget one thing. I blame the stupid magazines on display at the grocery store. I see Martha Stewart Living and think “ooh, those cupcakes look delicious” and completely forget that I need balsamic vinegar.

Use my imagination.
I live in Los Angeles, where people are coming up with great scripts every day, designing cool clothes and websites, all the time. I still feel a tug on my heart to create more, not just by ‘being an actor’ but by letting go and just playing around more. I have a baby now. What freedom to dance in public or draw with colored pencils or get dirty!

Get rid of things that don’t matter.
This is a big one. I believe it may be the key to salvaging the best parts of my old life. Rather than trying to keep up with every email, watch every TV show, and hold on to every article of clothing that might be worn, I plan to purge a great deal this year. I look at Little J’s blue eyes and realize how wonderful the new is. Let it in. Say hello to 30, goodbye to elastic pants, and good morning to the possibility of Cool Mom, whoever she is.

 

Me (left) with my sister, in front of our house, circa 1985.

Me (left) with my sister, in front of our house, circa 1985.

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