New Year’s Eve With Just My Kids

Written by on January 1, 2012 in Learning to Breathe - 2 Comments
Rainbow Wheel

1st January, 2012

This New Year’s Eve was a quiet one, probably the quietest one I’ve had for years.

The reason: I decided to celebrate it with my kids and my kids alone.

I had a series of party invites of course — wild and crazy and terribly fun parties that turned out to be even more interesting and terribly fun than I already knew they would be  — but I made the conscious decision not to hire a sitter to stay with my kids (who are much too young for most parties, let alone wild and crazy ones) and to bring in the New Year just with them.  Not only was part of my New Year’s resolution to spend some time being single before I returned to dating again, but it was also to spend more quality time with my kids while they were still little and while they still needed me as much as they still did (from what I’ve heard, that time passes very quickly).

In all honesty, it was probably a little bit of a selfish choice too and not completely an altruistic and compassionate one — where I felt for the pain of my kids for being constantly left behind while the adults enjoyed all the New Year’s fun.  In truth, I just wanted to spend the special evening with them as much as they wanted to spend it staying up with me.  They’d been away for Christmas with their dad (from whom I was recently divorced) and I’d realized just how much I’d missed them and the sounds they added to our little house when the silence and their lack had set in.  Though the divorce had come in officially almost a year ago now, I was still getting accustomed to being separated from them.

I’d spent Christmas Eve with my ex boyfriend — as a final farewell to that chapter of our relationship that was now truly closed, ordering in some Chinese food, as we were both too exhausted from talking to even cook — and then I’d chosen to spend Christmas Day alone, asking him not to sleep over as he’d been accustomed to doing when we were still together.  The previous year, we’d brought in the Christmas and New Year partying in Berlin, with New Year’s Eve being spent at a “Russian Disco” themed party and Christmas Eve and Day spent dining at a wonderful restaurant, snuggling together, and exchanging gifts on a lazy late-sleep morning.  This year in comparison was going to be extremely quiet and threatened to be depressing.

So it was somewhere in that Christmas morning alone, when I remained lazily in bed, cuddling at least with my blankets, that I began to notice the deep silence around me and to wonder how my kids were spending their day and what kind of presents they were getting from my ex husband’s family.  Even speaking with them on Christmas Day didn’t quite take away that feeling of wanting to be near them and to give them a hug and have them fight over who gets to sit on my lap and for how long.

So when the little darlings finally made it home, I resolved to spend as much time as possible just hanging out with them during the continuing winter holiday.  New Year’s Eve was our first night staying up late and celebrating together.  We baked Christmas cookies that day which we promised not to touch until the fireworks at midnight — or, at least, until just before bedtime, and we stayed up as late as we could watching children’s shows and movies with a Christmas or New Year’s theme.  Sure it wasn’t the usual big New Year’s Eve celebration that I was used to, but it was actually fun.

Later that night, after the children had gone to bed (exhausted and drowning to sleep easily and quickly after the long night up), a divorced mommy friend of mine (who’d also recently gone through the whole decision to bring in the New Year embracing singlehood), who had invited me to a party at a private club just up the road from me, came to crash at mine since she lived much further.  We drank a bottle of champagne for the occasion (or mostly she drank as she was still in the party mood) and she told me about all of the exploits and entertainment that I’d missed at the party and the people that she’d met (good looking single men included of course).  It sounded just as fun and happening as I’d expected.  Yet, I didn’t feel jealous at all.

I had  spent the whole night staying up late with my kids — something they didn’t get to do often and were very excited about.  Certainly, waking up the next morning would be much easier and more pleasant without the customary New Year’s Day feeling of too much wine and too little sleep.  But, best of all, I’d spent the night with the most important little people in my life.  So I didn’t regret a thing!


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