Piper greeted the new year at 6:10 a.m., as children often do when we really need them to sleep. Morning in our house announces itself with a quiet rattle. The rattle is buried in Piper’s lovey, a well-worn pale pink teddy bear named Pinky that miraculously turns into a blanket from the waist down. Piper stirs awake, searches her sheets for Pinky, and drags the bear down the hallway. As the rattle grows louder, thumping against the floor, my morning begins. Piper crawls in bed next to me and shoves Pinky, rattle and all, in my sleepy face. Pinky kisses me first to measure my mood. This morning, the first of 2012, I smiled and Piper declared her first new year’s Piperism: “Mom, when I go really fast, I miss some fun. I’m going to go slow from now on.” So, here’s to a slower 2012 filled with simple fun and a daily dose of joy.