Parenting Guru: What's on Your Gratitude List?

Happy New Year!Happy New Year!I never make resolutions. Frankly, they depress me. I never follow through on them and I end up looking at them at the end of the year and wondering why I even bothered. Instead, I make a list of the things I am grateful for throughout the past year. Sure, it's a small list. And the stuff on it isn't important - I haven't solved world peace, nor have I discovered how to make energy from wind or rain. But it's my list...and after you read it, tell me what is on your gratitude list.

Oh, and please note, these aren't in any particular order.

  • Our dog, No-no Lulu, has stopped eating throw pillows. I think this time it's for good, although I thought that in June as well and let's not even get into what happened to the vintage pillow I got from Etsy.

  • Our son, Junior, is a sophomore and still speaks to me as if he likes me - or at least as though I have half a brain. I am treasuring that, because as I understand it a teenager without a smart mouth doesn't last forever.

  • On October 21, 2011 at exactly 8:02 AM I was right about something. I'm not sure what it was, but I do remember that I was right. Sadly, like certain comets and my single digit pant size, being right only comes around once in a lifetime.

  • My husband, Harry, found the snake that was living in our garage and relocated him to better accommodations.

  • Harry found the mice that were living in our garage and relocated them to better accommodations.

  • Harry cleaned the garage.

  • Junior has finally learned to back slowly out of the driveway. Prior to learning this, he barreled out with a crazy woman in the passenger seat who was screaming, crying and bracing for impact. Yes, I'm the crazy lady. And no, I don't think it helped him, but it certainly stopped me from having a heart attack each time he backed out of the driveway.

  • No member of my family has appeared, been offered to appear or even considered appearing on "Teen Mom," "Wife Swap" or "Dexter." However, should they be casting for "Real Housewives of California Who Aren't Rich and Don't Dress Well," I reserve the right to try out.

  • I don't fit in my skinny jeans, but I don't fit in my fat jeans, either. So it's a win-win as far as I'm concerned.

  • The other dog, Kirby, has apparently accepted that she is a dog and not just a princess trapped by an evil spell in the body of a fat puppy. Instead of demanding treats by barking at me, she has taken to sitting forlornly on the area rug in the kitchen and moaning as though she is starving to death. Hm. Maybe she does still believe she's a trapped princess.

  • My grandmother is 90 and still dispensing pearls of wisdom to me like, "you aren't raising a child, you are raising an adult," and "sometimes the dog eats the cookie and sometimes you can wrestle it out of his paws and eat it yourself." Yeah, I don't know what the last one means either, but it's got to be something wise. Or maybe she's just hungry for a cookie. Whichever it is, I don't care because she's still here talking. Did I mention she's 90?

  • The first time Junior did all of his own laundry, nothing came out of the dryer a different color than it was when it went into the washing machine. And as a bonus? Everything was clean. Sort of.

  • I have not poisoned anyone with my cooking. This year.

  • I have not received one call from the principal or any of Junior's teachers. And that's not just because everyone uses email now.

  • One day, without being asked, my husband took my car and got it washed and vacuumed. Of course, this would have been better if I could have added "and filled it with gas," but I'm still very grateful.

  • My family and my friends were all happy and healthy this year.

Your turn! What's on your list? Big things? Little things? Share with us.
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Manic Motherhood is a popular blog written by Laurie Sontag, a California newspaper columnist trying to figure out why teenagers aren't like other beings. You can read her work at Manic Motherhood, on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.