“I’d like to grow two feet this year.”


 “I’d like to grow two feet this year.” 



 



 “I want to wave my hand and school would magically go away.”



  “I hope to pass reading class in case your magic doesn’t work.”



  “My wish is that we all have more fun.”



  We all kinda nodded in agreement with Pam’s last statement. Sure, we were almighty young, but we were fairly certain that none of us were likely to grow two feet. By the second grade, it had also become obvious that school wasn’t going anywhere. And Ricky, bless his heart, wasn’t going to pass reading unless Dick and Jane themselves showed up to help him pronounce “galoshes”. 



  But we could all have more fun! That was one New Year’s Resolution that was actually obtainable by the whole group. It wouldn’t even take a lot of effort. “Ac-CENT-Tchu-Ate the Positive” is the way the popular song put it! 



  We were sitting on the meteorite that had blasted down to earth at the corner of Magnolia and Stonewall Street. It had special powers! None of us could remember exactly when it crash landed. And I couldn’t say, of course for sure, that it was a real meteorite. But it was a different looking limestone, had pock marks all over it and it sure “seemed” to have come from outer space. We believed it was a special rock…..that was the important thing!



  You might think our requests simple. But growing was important to a second grader. School wasn’t. And reading was even below arithmetic in that land of long ago. We made the best resolutions we could make based on the circumstances.



  In junior high we were still sitting on the meteorite for “power” but our resolutions had grown with us. “I want to be the quarterback and best linebacker we have next year.”



  “I hope to be the eighth grade Student Council representative.”



  “Would it be ok to wish for a month long snowstorm that would close school until, say April?”



  “I want to make a million dollars this year and move to Hollywood!”



  By High School our “resoluting” had moved to the back booth of Frank’s Dairy Bar. And perhaps our thoughts for the upcoming 1965 had narrowed a bit. “I want to get a date with Billie Jean.”



  “You reckon Larry would look at me if I lost forty pounds?”



  “Do you think Nola would give me a second chance?”



  “Kes, would you ask Yogi to ask Charlotte to ask LaRenda if she would talk to Bonnie and see if she might possibly think about going out with me?” Life had gotten a bit more complicated over those burgers and malted shakes. I stopped by the meteorite on my way home. “Lord, do you think Jane would go out with me this next year if I asked her plain out?” There were some New Year’s Resolutions that wasn’t no one else’s business!



  College was another whole ball game! Halfway through the first year I wasn’t thinking girl friends, growing two feet or running off to Hollywood. It was survival first and foremost! Mother was helping me pack at the end of the Christmas break and I’m thinking earthquake, tsunami, fire and brimstone……anything that could keep me from going back! Never had my little hometown looked so good! College was hard. It was lonely. And the professors didn’t treat you like Miss Dorothy did back in the second grade. That New Year’s, my resolutions centered on just making it till June. I stopped by the meteorite on my way back that afternoon. “Old friend, I’m not going to let this beat me. We somehow made it through grade school and junior high, I can do this…….but I sure wish Ricky, Pam, Jane, Buddy and the others were with me.”



Family and children can change your whole outlook on the up coming year. My wishes were their wishes. The New Year’s hankerings kinda got caught up in their health and well being. I was busy trying to make a living. Providing. January 1’s began rolling around faster than a bill collector during a depression! Before I could wish a prosperous year for my group, the next one would be here. Life happens sometimes when you are too busy to notice. 



None of us, of course, could ignore the world stage as we pondered the global aspects of New Year’s wishes; fighting in Vietnam, unrest in Africa, a crazy leader in South America, threats and counter threats between Israel and the Arab world; suicide bombers, random shootings…… It was sometimes a chilling introspective as one stood on the eve of another year.



I have prayed for peace; and understanding; and for the whole world to get along. I have prayed for the less fortunate and the mundane. Shucks, I’ve prayed for Democrats and Republicans to sit down together and reason like adults. I have prayed against evil and dark places. I reckon in a lifetime that has seen so many sweeping events, advances, changes and a backwards step or two, I have run the preverbal gauntlet of New Year’s Resolutions.



I have been blessed this Christmas by the presence of all five of my grandchildren. I have rolled on the floor, I have hidden in the secret room, I’ve climbed Pike’s Peak and chased Bad Louie. I’ve asked for the “little hug” and near ’bout been squeezed to death! I have held them close and observed them at a distance.



As we stand on the outset of another year, there are things that are important……and then, there are things that ARE important! Pam had it exactly right back in the second grade. My wish is that we all have more fun.



I reckon I’ve come full circle.



Happy New Year,



Kes