I am a mom that loves traditions and holidays. However, New Years has never really been that big for us. I vaguely remember when my son was younger that I made a big deal about it. I believe we use to watch movies until we had to watch the ball drop. I also remember a couple of times him conking out before midnight. Although for the past four years, I have had to work those nights and miss ringing in the new year with my favorite person. Even though, it wasn’t a huge deal, I still rather had spent that evening with my son. Instead his dad or grandparents got to enjoy that night with him.
Four years in a row of not celebrating New Years Eve had me kind of lost on how I would face it this year. Every year all of my plans back fired, so I kind of gave up on trying to make it special. 2016 was such a rough year, so I knew that I needed to not treat this night like every other. I truly want a new beginning and fresh start this year to come. So, what can I do to celebrate?
Luckily, my best friend of 14 years was home visiting. She had invited us to come over her parent’s house to ring in the New Year with her family. I was overjoyed to join them as I have been coming to that house since I was a teenager. It is my home away from home filled with many fond memories. During a prior visit, we gathered around the kitchen table with all of our children and engaging in a well cooked meal. My best friend’s brother looked up at everyone. I could read his face of what he was thinking, “This is so weird”, he claimed. Then proceeded to explain that it was strange seeing everyone together again especially with me being there, but with the addition of our children. It truly is surreal that I have been coming there off and on for 14 years. “You all make me feel old”, he laughed. Although, I feel even more old than him, since I first started coming there at age 16 with my best friend and now our 8-year-old children are best friends playing together in the same house.
The night was simple and not extravagant. No alcoholic drinks and no crazy party. Just kids playing in the living room and watching movies. The adults played board games and card games. Some games were strategic, some were funny yet crude and others were a mix of charades. We laughed a lot and learned a lot about each other. They were really fun and relaxing. Then, it was almost time for the ball to drop.
We missed the infamous Mariah Carey performance and walked in right when they started to count down. Everyone gathered around in the living room, even letting the pets join in. Finally we all counted out loud during the last 10 seconds. Then everyone clapped, screamed (my son being the loudest), pets barked in confusion and children bounced up and down. The odd thing about this particular moment is that everything seemed to happen in slow motion. I was able to watch each person’s reactions and their celebratory kisses to their loved ones. It was a beautiful moment that I was able to fully focus on to savor its every second. I was grateful to be in a room with so many happy people, and all truly enjoying each others company. Some of the greatest moments of impact are often glimpses of blurred details. However, I am grateful to remember every bit of that night.
This was the perfect start to our year. We rang in the new year with old friends and surrounding happiness. It gave me the hope that I needed and the energy to prevail more happiness in me and my son’s lives. We had a rough year, so now it is time to regroup and recover. I am determined, because my son is counting on me to be. Next year we will count down to a great year, I guarantee it. How we’ll ring it in the next year will just have to be a mystery for now.