Today was a quiet day. The girls are still pretty well amused with the things Santa and their wonderful extended family brought them, and the gaps between sessions with the Barbie Glam Vacation house and the still-new art supplies are filled with some time spent with Hulu and Netflix. I read the whole New York Times from this past Sunday and a few sections from the previous week. I even got partway through the crossword puzzle. And, of course, I cooked and baked a little and cleaned a little-- more like tidying I guess, but still... I won't get up tomorrow and reel in horror when I walk out of my bedroom. Starting the year with reasonable expectations is the name of my game.
That's right. New year: January 1st, 2014. Am I the only one asking where the hell December 2013 went?
I know I spent more time than usual at work, and the little post office was crazy-busy, so the days flew by as the packages piled themselves into what looked like gigantic forts and the Christmas cards filled bins and boxes at my feet. By the time I looked up, my oldest son had graduated from college-- no really, he did. We went and watched the ceremony in a gigantic crowd with his wonderful partner and her family. We all saw him get his diploma on the Jumbotron usually reserved for awkward wedding proposals and instant replays of questionable basketball shots. I just have to say that my son has four syllables in his full name, and two of them were mispronounced. But hey, who am I to quibble with the venerable degree-granting university? As long as his name is spelled correctly on the diploma.
My younger son turned twenty nine, and spent the holiday week with his girlfriend's family across the country. That week I rushed along myself, I am sure, because I am always happier knowing he's back home. There are plans for an engagement next fall. All of this means that, by this time next year, I will have two sons over thirty... but that's not the point is it? Both of them have college degrees and long term relationships. The Jewish mother sighs gently, but is not crying...really.
And then there are the little girls. Last night, to ring out the old year, we replaced dinner with a family cocktail party, feasting around the coffee table on appetizers like layered bean dip and pigs in blankets which we washed down with sparkling wine (grown-ups) and "kid champagne" (sparkling cider) for the young ladies. Today Delia, the seven year old, slept late and stayed in her pajamas all day, giving us a sneak preview of what it will be like to have a teen-aged girl around the place. The five year old Fiona annoyed the crap out of her all day, in all the little ways that little sisters do, giving us confirmation of what the next 10 or 12 years will be like. Every. Day.
But as I work on this, I can hear the girls giggling in their beds. They have been shushed and bribed and threatened, but still, they are not sleeping. Delia is reading to Fiona, and I can make out every other word or so at first, but then Fee gets quiet as she gets into the story. "...and then the sisters were finally friends. The end," drifts toward me in Dee's small, clear voice, and then "now go to sleep." And it's quiet for a minute, and maybe they finally are friends, at least until morning.
You weren't stellar, 2013, but you didn't break me, either. Here's to 2014 and all it brings-- may it be a good year for all of us.
Image from here