Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why I Don't Celebrate New Year's Eve

I hate New Year's Eve. Always have. To me, it's not so much a celebration as recognition of my own mortality: another year gone by, one less ahead. And what did I accomplish with that last year? Usually not enough.

So now maybe you're wondering: isn't she getting just a wee bit ahead of herself? After all, it's only August.

Yes, but here's the thing. My baby boy is starting kindergarten today. I still remember when I took Shay to meet his kindergarten bus three years ago. Aidan and I waved goodbye cheerfully, but when we went back to our silent house together, Aidan sat at the table and cried "I wanna go on the school bus." I hugged him and reassured him. "When you're a big boy, you'll get to go on a school bus, too." I said that, but I didn't really believe it would come to pass. I couldn't picture him getting big enough to go on a bus.

But here we are. His birth certificate indicates he's old enough for a school bus, even if he still asks for sippy cups sometimes. Another summer flew by, and I've got that New Year's Eve feeling. I had so many plans for the summer. Read every day! Make cupcakes together! Go to a museum! Hike the Great Wall! And we did do a lot of the things we planned to do, but not so many, and not so often. Okay, okay, I have a baby in the house, so I know I should cut myself some slack. But he's in kindergarten now, and my time is up. He's going to spend his days with his teacher and his friends now, and I'm going to be left behind, hugging Kyra and telling her "someday, when you're a big girl, you'll go on a school bus, too..."

So, for today, I'm going to wallow in my misery. I'm going to miss those two little guys who have tormented me all summer. I'm going to feel quite lonely in this big house, without my two boys whining at my feet and punching each other in the head. I'm going to think about all of the things we never got around to this summer. I'm going to think about the times when I wasn't patient enough, when I turned on the tv instead of opening a book, when I yelled instead of counting to ten. Today, I'm going to allow myself to feel just as sad as I sometimes do on New Year's Eve. Where did the time go? And what do I have to show for it?

But then, tomorrow, I'll probably leave the girls with the ayi and go sit in Starbucks with a book for awhile. All. By. Myself.


Jill said... [Reply]

That is so sweet... it brought tears to my eyes.

Then I read the Starbucks line and now I want to crawl under a rock myself...

You have Starbucks? I'm so jealous.

Coffee here gives you diarrhea.

I'm not just saying that to be funny. It's true.

Please. Write your own stuff.