Eleven Turns to Twelve

Just before dinner tonight, our garbage disposal clogged up. It may be that someone was over-zealously stuffing vegetable scraps into it without thinking. (It wasn’t Rob, we don’t let Harper use the disposal, and Jonathan doesn’t even know how to use his hands, so…) Rob donned his superhero cape and fixed it, which turned out to be no small feat involving two plungers and quite a bit of elbow grease.

As I watched him, I thought: Now, this is something we’ve never done on New Year’s Eve before.

In the past 15 years, I’ve rung in the new year in six different states (MI, MO, IL, VA, MN, NC, if you’re curious) and the District of Columbia. I’ve toasted midnight in bars, apartments, houses, and once at a Barenaked Ladies concert. I’ve spent the evening with old friends, new friends, church friends, parents, in-laws, and occasionally, strangers.

There was the year my college friends, out of school for less than a year, reunited to watch the millenium change and wondered if all the ATM’s would work the next day. That was also the year we broke out the champagne before midnight – which we didn’t realize until we got the pictures from the evening and found a picture of ourselves toasting while the clock on the wall behind us said 11:50.

There was the year we got stuck in an elevator in a Chicago high rise. That story has grown over the years, and I’m pretty sure we were only stuck for 30 minutes or so, but I think we did have to be rescued by firefighters who pried the door open.

There was the year we were glad to see go – it had been a fall of bad news, both personally and publicly. I was missing my grandmother, Rob was out of work, and the first few months of divinity school had been hard. We rang in the new year hoping it would all get better. It did.

There was the year I was newly pregnant with Harper and I was so giddy with my secret that I was sure that someone would notice I wasn’t drinking my champagne. There was the next year, when we left the baby with my parents and went out with friends but found ourselves home before midnight to check on her.

We’re home tonight, too, without much planned, which is just fine. It’s been a full week, with lots of people, food, and activities, so we were ready for some down time. And it felt right to be home tonight, just the four of us, as we are saying goodbye to this year in which we spent a lot of time making this house our home, this year in which we became the family of four we are likely to remain.

And now, lest this become known as the year I spent New Year’s Eve blogging instead of spending time with my husband after he heroically unclogged the disposal – this is our 14th New Year’s together, by the way – I’m signing off.

Happy 2012.




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