New Year, New… Expectations?

New years’ celebrations have always been a bit anticlimactic in my mind. I’ve never celebrated the incrementing of that last digit of the date by one. The transition of 1999 to 2000 was celebrated by me being in bed with flu. There are often too many expectations that come with moving from the end of one year to the start of the next. I’ve never really understood why, in my mind it’s just the start of another day. All the problems that existed on the 31st December are still there on the 1st January, as is everything else.

I’ve never made new year’s resolutions, they never last, the start of a new year is not incentive enough for me to make any major changes in my life. The expectations I have at any one time are not affected by the date, only by my own mental state.

The year 2017 included many expectations, not triggered by that last digit, but by events. The biggest one perhaps being that Eldest started school. My expectation of that was that he would struggle with many elements, not academically, but socially. I expected him to find it hard to make friends, to not really ‘get’ many of the complex aspects of playground politics. I expected him to dislike school as a result. I was wrong.

Instead of my expectations being met, I have been happily surprised, he’s flourished at school. His self-confidence has built up, and he is nowhere near as attention driven as he was. His teacher has commented that he has become less ‘clingy’ (she hated using that word, but it is one we used to describe him to her when we met her) as time has gone on. We noticed the same thing at home, he is far more likely to get on with things on his own, to play nicely without need for attention. He still loves to get attention, but he doesn’t seem to ‘need’ it in order to function like he used to. A positive outcome, and one I hope he continues to build on.

For Youngest I fully expected to have to engage a health professional to help him with his speech. He wasn’t talking much, he was mumbling and wasn’t understandable even to us. Again, I was wrong. Since the middle of the year his speech has improved every day. Even those tricky ‘L’ sounds are now being pronounced fluently without thought. He no longer says ‘peas’ but ‘please’. He no longer goes to ‘paygoop’ but ‘playgroup’. He has come a long way in his communication, and his overall demeanour has improved as a result. He still isn’t ready for school as scheduled in September, but 9 months is a long time when you’re his age, and if his behaviour continues to improve in that time as it has in the last 6 months then he will be.

My expectations surrounding my children are often driven by my parental worry. I seem to like to prepare for worst case scenarios rarely hoping that they won’t occur, but being pleasantly surprised when they don’t. I think I need to try to stop doing that, but it’s difficult and knowing their traumatic start in life makes me read into situations things that other parents wouldn’t. I do have to be vigilant in case those scenarios we were warned about pre-adoption come into play, it’s an added stress that I don’t really need, but that’s the nature of adoptive parenting.

I don’t currently have many expectations for 2018, at the moment life is a bit of a routine driven plod. Sometimes a slog. But there are a few things happening this year that I have expectations about, Youngest’s start of school being one of them and again it is a worst case scenario. The expectations and worries are very different to those I had for Eldest, but we will deal with them in a similar way, through communication with the school from the earliest possible stage.

Realistically 2018 will be no more positive or negative than 2017 was. Things will happen that are better than I expect and other things will happen that are worse. I hesitate to say this because my brain rebels against that kind of lack of control, but at the moment, in the mental state that I currently have I will say it and I need to keep it in mind:

What will be, will be.

Title Image: unsplash-logoNordWood Themes

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