This may well turn out to be the best story of 2013. While I bear the burden of not giving the new year a chance to unfold, the story of the year I’m going with is the family that gathered together on New Year’s Eve and made joint resolutions.
Not joint as in smoking pot together, as some families do. Joint as in resolving what a prosperous new year would mean for all, with parents and kids working on the same goals. A family plan.
After listening to the dad explain it, I determined the idea was akin to using a lay-away plan for purchasing big-ticket items versus using a credit card and making interest payments that would, in the long run, cost considerably more than the merchandise.
Mr. Rodriguez chuckled at my analogy and remembered his grandfather always warned that if you can’t pay for it, you shouldn’t be buying it.
I’m not so sure the teenagers, and there are several in the family, were as excited about the lay-away plan as the younger kids seemed to be. Here’s how the plan is supposed to work:
The time will be evenly divided between academics, fun stuff and electronic gadgets. No time sheets or other documentation are required because, I’m told, the younger kids are great tattle-tales.
No interest incurred, mom announced. The younger kids resolve to give back for the helpful attention. For the entire 12 months of 2013 they will not agitate, make up tales (and it seems they always do) or report to the parents what the older ones have and have not done.
He won’t turn on the TV as soon as he comes in tired from work and then sit in front of it to fall asleep for most of the evening. Instead he will make it to the dinner table, where he can listen to his kids and learn about their day.
He will try very hard throughout the new year to remind himself that the things his father and grandfather did when raising a family will not make sense in 2013, since they didn’t work very well in 2012.
She’s going to spend household money on herself, sleep late every day, forget to do the laundry, stop cooking good food and start hanging out with women who don’t have children. Finally, she’s going to stop dreaming that her family made meaningful New Year’s resolutions for 2013.