Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

I used to think there was something sad about New Year's Eve and the moment when the clock struck twelve. I think it has a lot to do with my fascination with Cinderella growing up, and it's affected my thinking in a perverse sort of way. See, at midnight, the magic ends, the princess returns to her ho-hum life and for unknown reasons, she must maintain her silence about the ordeal instead of showing up at the castle the next day and saying, "Hey, princey - it's me, Rella. Get me out of this joke I call my life and schedule me a mani and pedi, stat."

And then there's the fact that I've not had that NYEve moments like the ones you see on TV. You know, ballgown, champagne, and clever conversations about art and great books. Well, I've had the last two, but not together, and not on NYEve, and NOT in a ballgown. My eve's were more like everyone else's, I guess, spent with family, or in one sad case, trolling a parking lot at Spy Club, trying to decide if we want to pay $50 for parking and then doing it anyway because it's 11:45 and we need time to get a drink so we can TOAST, damnit. The moment always springs up on me, catching me quite unaware and unprepared frankly. Of course, with my linear brain, that makes sense. In the mad little world that exists inside my head, my Oompa Loompas would remind me it's time to reflect, then to appreciate, then to blog, then to pour the champagne, and then to have the magical kiss. Problem with Oopma Loompas is that they've been on strike since the orange skin debacle.
And speaking of kisses, I must say that I've become a lot more comfortable with my husband's train of thought when it comes to New Year's Eve. I may not agree with him about the importance of celebrating birthdays and Christmas in a grand style, but I do see his point about the silliness that the ticking of a clock from one second to the next being heralded as the most important celebratory event of the year. And resolutions? Never really set any.

Bringing you down? Well, I'll bring you home now. See? You can trust me. The Oompa Loompas are serving cider and donut holes now and one of them just showed up with Scrabble.

The new year is so much more than that moment to me, and it doesn't happen on schedule for me. It's the moment that you go from one child to two and realize you've become part of a plan bigger than dreams that used to burn inside you. When you go from Trying to Go Out to Happy Staying In. When you are finally free of debt because you worked on it together. When you FINALLY finish the renovations you wanted for so long on the house you have loved together.

It's that moment when you stop worrying about what your mother-in-law thinks and you just get drunk once and for all. When you realize that God gave you family so you can practice friendship with them FIRST. A new year comes to me each time I hear my husband pick up his guitar and stay true to who he is. When my 3 year old writes songs to his playing and my 6-month old dances along.

It is learning that holding on to the pain is so much more detrimental to your life that just saying what hurts. It is finding old friends and telling them you miss and need them and doing something about it. For me, it's as simple as getting to sit outside at night for a moment when the moon is out and the wind is dancing through the trees.

It is knowing why you go to church and learning how freeing forgiveness can feel. It's recognizing that at many points along the way in the journey that has been your life, things didn't turn out as you expected. And that you should thank God for it.

It's telling your daughter to put socks on and having her tell you she already did. It's cupcakes with sprinkles and mess in your kitchen that will just have to wait because it's time to get ready for the party . . . the New Year's Eve party.

I appreciate that it's going to be a new calendar year, but see, I'm working hard to pack in as many years into that calendar year as I can. And that means that I'm looking for those moments in every day. I'm watching and waiting and ready to record them in any way I can so that my daughters can one day go through my memories and know what I know - that it's the little moments that mean the most. And so my husband will know how much I'm putting into that kiss at midnight . . . as much as I do every day.