The fondue pot is washed, and the leftovers are put away. Now comes the ritual of seeing who'll still be awake to watch the ball drop in an hour. In years past, all the babies and my husband would be fast asleep around me, but I think they'll all make it this year.
New Year's Eve was always a big deal when I was a young girl. My mother looked at it as a chance for a fresh start, almost a new beginning. Maybe she'd get a better job or win the lottery or meet a wonderful man. Although she always struggled to pay the bills, she'd make sure we had snacks to celebrate. My great grandmother used to say that whatever you did on New Year's Eve was what you were destined to do in the coming year. Mom made sure we didn't argue with each other, that we sang, that we had snacks ... all to try and seal the deal for us. As I got older, I used to let this weigh heavy on me. I'd try to shove everything I possibly needed to do onto the 30th in order to keep myself free to make a big meal on the 31st. I reasoned to myself that I was ensuring an easy upcoming year. All I was really doing was stressing myself out.
A couple years ago I decided to change my thinking. Now I look at it as getting lots of cuddle time with the babies, trying to write something or be creative and have a yummy meal made in a communal way. That's why we fondue. It is a lot of work to prep it all, but we graze for hours. I just love feeding them, and I know how lucky I am to be able to afford to feed them well. When I think back on how my mother struggled, how hungry we often were, there is a profound joy in watching my children eat.
I hope that the new year brings you joy and good health. I hope that there is adventure and happiness on your horizon. I hope you learn something new about yourself and that you spend time helping others however you can. I hope that love surrounds you. And if you need it, I hope it brings you a new beginning.