I had the loveliest/weirdest New Year’s Eve. It was R’s 21st birthday and I was prepared to be sad about not getting to spend time with him on his birthday. Obviously, now that he is an adult, that’s going to happen less and less often anyway. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that I will never spend his birthday with him again. Although having written that out, it seems very unlikely. I didn’t often spend my birthday with my parents between the ages of 20-30, but after that, I sometimes did, especially the major birthdays. I definitely saw them on my 30th and 40th.
Anyway, it’s a nostalgic day, of course. As always, I remembered details of the day 21 years ago, mostly how madly, head-over-heels, totally joyfully in love I was. I know some moms don’t get that. My midwife told me it was the endorphins from a very long labor. It might also have been some exhaustion delirium—my water broke on Thursday and R was finally born on Sunday morning and there was not a lot of sleep during those three intervening nights—but whatever, I was dazzled and awed and infatuated beyond anything I have ever experienced before or since.
But I was also trying to remember details of the year before that — 22 years ago, the New Year’s Eve when I had no idea, none, of how dramatically and permanently my life would change in the next 12 months. I couldn’t remember a thing. I assume I spent it with the boyfriend that I was coming to realize I ought to be breaking up with and probably that we both drank too much, but no specifics beyond that.
And then my thoughts turned to last New Year’s Eve. It was just a year ago. I had no idea it would be my last new year in my house. If you’d asked me then, I would have predicted this new year’s to be just as the previous seven or so had been: quiet, at home, probably including a nice meal with R…
Instead, he was in Paris. And I was sitting in a friend’s driveway watching the best fireworks display ever. Best, not because the fireworks were out of reason spectacular — Disney has some great fireworks shows with music and fireworks that create designs in the sky, ie Mickey Mouse ears, so I’ve seen some impressive fireworks — but because it went on and on and on, and I could watch it from the cozy comfort of my own bed with the dogs on top of me.
I would love to know what Zelda thought about the whole thing. She’s always hated fireworks, but she’s never figured out that they’re the flashing lights in the sky. She started to get agitated, barking and pacing, when she first smelled the smoke and heard the banging, but then she came and sat on me and watched them with me. Ears up, eyes alert, I really think she paid attention to the whole thing. And they were beautiful, big fireworks, some simple explosions of blue and red and green, others those swishing things like one little explosion after another in white sparkles.
It was a lovely night. Not what I meant to write about this morning, but I’m glad to save the memory.
The other lovely thing that happened was that Andrea Host released a new book in her Touchstone series. I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned the series here before — I know I have elsewhere on social media. But those books somehow became comfort reads for me, such that a few months after reading them for the first time, I got sick and the only thing I wanted to do was reread the series. They’re fantasy/science fiction, but the new book, In Arcadia, is very much a romance: it’s a calm, quiet, slice-of-life story that tells the tale of the main character’s mom from the previous books falling in love. I read it between fireworks and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven’t tried her books and you like fantasy/sci-fi/romance, I really do recommend them—she creates worlds that I love escaping into. I’ve reread almost all of them, I think.
In fact, my one regret about In Arcadia is that it makes me want to reread all Andrea’s books, one right after another, and I really shouldn’t. I should be writing my own books!
Resolution for 2017: write lots of words.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Happy New Year Sarah. I worked a lot over both holidays but at night I was in my room reading. Nothing particularly recommendable. I learned yesterday that J. K. Rowling wrote a series of books as a male pseudonym centering around a detective. I am looking forward to checking it out. Love your resolution. I need to come up with one. Here’s hoping 2017 is good for all of us.
Happy New Year to you, too, Judy! I enjoyed the Galbraith books. They’re different, but she’s still a captivating writer in another genre. I haven’t read the last one yet, though. Maybe this year!