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Happy New Year
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It’s hard to believe it, but when I least expect it I am hit by another ‘parenting epiphany.’

The most recent one comes in the form of the yearly calendar. While I recognize and understand the traditional English yearly calendar begins in January and concludes in December, mine — as a mommy — does not.

Our yearly calendar now begins right around August and concludes the following July.

I realized this recently as our family began recovering from our summer of hosting family and friends and prepared for the coming school year.

As a mother of two, I no longer kiss a year good bye on December 31 as I once did in my younger years. I no longer take that moment between the outgoing traditional year and incoming new one and think of what has been and what still has yet to be.

No … now, I take a minute at the end of July to reflect on summer memories and count my many blessings. Then I quickly turn to my to do list and begin anticipating our return to a family schedule. Hallelujah.

Of course each year’s schedule is a bit different. This year we will add soccer and dance to our family itinerary and hope for the best. It is something new for both of our children, so needless to say it will be a year of new experiences for mom and dad as well.

With the coming of the ‘New Year,’ we also start thinking of the coming holidays and all the joy and excitement they bring to our family. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s day and Easter quickly lead us to our June birthdays — each serving as a springboard to the next family activity.

With children ages two and five, holidays and ‘sleeps’ are how we measure distance from one event to the next. My son is still trying to factor in where the ‘Chocolate Festival’ fits into this activity schedule — in time I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

If you have a child between the ages of three and 18 perhaps you get all of this.

I also, must admit, I actually kind of like this new calendar — the August to July one. It actually makes a bit of sense if you really think about it.

The year begins as the heat peaks and slowly starts to cool, leading us into winter and concluding with the long, lazy days of summer. By mid-August days are beginning to become a bit shorter and people are beginning to long once again for closed toe shoes and lightweight jackets.

Like a well-written novel, it really does seem to have a logical beginning, middle and end.

The traditional English calendar does not really offer any recognizable differences between December and January. The weather is still dreary and if we are lucky we may get some snow in the mountains and rain in the valley. Other than the ball dropping on December 31, that’s about it.

For those of you that think perhaps I have lost my mind … not to worry. This will not manifest into a national campaign, proposing that we alter the traditional calendar to follow that of the crazy parent.

But go ahead and admit it — it sure does make a lot more sense.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.