A few short years ago, ringing in the new year would have been a big deal for us.
But not this year. Or, frankly, any year since the kids were born.
We’d plan weeks ahead for a date night out.
As usual, New Year’s Eve kind of snuck up on me this year. It didn’t even occur to me to try to find a babysitter until it was too late.
In the past, we’d have gotten gussied up in preparation for what was to come.
I didn’t have time to shower yesterday. And by dinner time, I wore the same jeans and macaroni-covered sweatshirt I had slipped on when the kids woke us up at the crack of dawn.
We would have made reservations at a romantic restaurant, where we’d sip extra dirty martinis over a dinner that included both appetizers and dessert.
We had pizza delivered to the house. We did shots of apple juice from sippy cups. I had two dates, both of which ended up covered in marinara sauce. By the time dessert was over, they were both extra dirty, and badly in need of a bath.
After a leisurely meal, we’d scamper off to the neighborhood pub, where we’d play shuffleboard with the bar regulars and drink frothy ales until we were toasty.
We scarfed down mouthfuls of pizza while standing up at the kitchen counter. “Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakquel” played in the background. After dinner, we played with playdough, and engaged in a rousing game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos.
And at midnight, we’d do the countdown to the new year.
At 6:45, we started the countdown to bedtime.
And at the end of the night, I’d always get a passionate kiss from my favorite guy.
Bedtime stories and slobbery, goodnight kisses by 7 pm.
We’d stay out until the wee hours of the morning.
Both Jay and I were asleep long before midnight.
The next morning, we’d sleep in until noon.
This morning, the kids woke us up around 7:45. And we were thrilled that they slept in so late.
And I’d get out of bed, perhaps with a slight hangover. I’d stumble downstairs for a cup of coffee.
I stumbled downstairs for a cup of coffee. Really glad that I didn’t have a hangover.
And I’d prepare for a new year. I knew it would fly by so quickly.
And I thought about what would transpire in the coming year. A year that would fly by so quickly.
But would, in reality, be just another year. With the biggest changes entailing having to remember to write a new year on my check. And at the end of the year, I’d be another year older… but still the same on the outside.
A year that will be more than just another year. One that will bring new milestones, countless inches grown, and changes that will transform my children into little ones I can’t call “babies” any more.
I think back to the night before. A carefree New Year’s Eve where all I had to worry about was me. The night before had been special.
New Year’s Eve was a night much like most of the other nights we have around here. Nothing particularly special, or out of the ordinary. A far contrast to the night I would have celebrated just a few short years ago.
But the coming year? Will likely just be another 365 days.
I don’t know what the coming year will bring. But that is part of the magic of the new year for me… now that I am a parent. Who knows what is in store for us in the new year?
I just know it will be more than just another 365 days.