Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here we are.
Placed gently into the lap of 2010.
Four days in and I am already becoming accustomed to writing the date x/x/10
on my checks and journal-pages.

Ten years have passed since the Y2k New Year.
An entire decade with its memorable moments gathered like so many shelves of finished diaries and boxes of sentimental nick-knacks wedged into a decade-sized storage unit. What to do with such an impressive collection of junctures?-- aside from spending an occasional Saturday afternoon with a glass of wine and a flashlight, reminiscing. But I'd need to have Jesse watch the baby in order to do that, and I would frankly much rather spend a free afternoon (read: an hour or two under the assumption that an interruption could happen at any time) sewing with my new sewing machine (Thank you, Jesse! Thank you, Santa!)

So, the moments will remain tucked away, collecting dust, or aging like fine wine, depending, until I have reason to go searching for something from that particular period of time, a specific photo or document, perhaps. And in that searching, I will be sure to uncover an onslaught of reminders along the way.
(Think: Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation inadvertently getting trapped in his own attic searching for the holiday gifts he hid up there, spending the time watching old home movies while draped in grandmother's wardrobe with Ray Charles providing a perfect background soundtrack for retrospection.)

I remember very clearly how I spent New Years Eve 1999 as well as New Years Eve 2009, but I don't have much memory of how I spent the ones in-between.

New Year's 1999 I had just returned from a semester of college in London. I was thick and pasty from months of beer, too much and too often, and a daily intake of "proper fry-ups." This particular New Years was charged with the excitement and uncertainty that came from the anticipation of a new Millennium. I remember there being talk of the world as we know it shutting down completely because of the confusion that accompanied a 00 suffix. As we shouted out the last remaining seconds of that particular century with Prince 1999 screaming in the background, the New Year rang in just as it always had, and I remember having an explicit feeling of now what? At that point, I presumably reached for another gin and tonic.

New Year's Eve 2009 was spent at home with my daughter (10 weeks old that day) and my dog.
Jesse went out for the evening as I thoroughly encouraged him to--these days Opal prefers to be with at least one parent, and being the one with the boobs is helpful, to be sure. But when one of us does go out, at least we can report back with news of what it's like on the other side.
So the house was in a particular state of non-action to begin with. Our party began by giving Opal a bath, a favorite pastime for the both of us (she has progressed to kicking in the water and sucking on the washcloth that keeps her belly warm). Things got even more thrilling when we followed up with a lotion-massage in a steamy room, as I composed spontaneous off-key song lyrics to match the tiny body part I was massaging. She nursed while we rocked gently in the glider, which nearly put the both of us to sleep. We continued to rock in the dim light of the salt-lamp in her cozy little room, as I got to talk with my mother, my father and my brother on the phone. I wished them all the best in 2010 and requested they all down a cold one for me.
I didn't even come close to staying awake until midnight, Colorado-time, but I did make it to midnight, Ohio time, and that was plenty for me. No counting down, no noise-makers or drunk people screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR and leaning in for kiss. Just me and my precious-faced kiddo lying side-by-side in bed. She snored just slightly as I bathed in the uncommon and pure silence, attempting to stay awake inside of it as long as my eyes would let me.
And since my wonderful man returned just before midnight, it was a very Happy New Year, indeed.

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