"Do you miss it?" Melissa asked me as I took a sip of my thai iced tea. She is my mentor, and I suppose also my priest although I am no longer with her on Sunday mornings. We had been talking about my life before St. Paul's and seminary, before children and homeownership and all the hallmarks of adulthood that dot the landscape of my life.
I had to think about it for a moment. I have had a lot of fun in my life. Do I miss it?
"I love to remember it," I said. "But don't exactly miss it."
I'm thinking about that conversation tonight as I sit in a dark house at 9:30pm. The little ones are sleeping and Andrew is at work waiting for all New Year's Eve casualties to start pouring in to the hospital. J made a good effort, her best yet, at sleeping in her big kid bed but ended up back in the crib again tonight. S is out in the living room in the pack n play. Her big accomplishment this week has been learning how to sleep without being in our bed.
I think about other New Year's Eves, in years past. More recent years, the Jubilee years, were rung in with neighbors here at home. The last seven I have spent hand in hand with Andrew, at parties and kissing each other and friends at midnight. I wondered today if I would feel a little left out here in the dark.
But I don't. 2011 was such a year, it's almost a relief to end it quietly. Andrew graduated and launched his career, our family suddenly expanded, we began to learn how to parent two children. I keep waiting for a quiet year, and that never seems to happen. In my heart I don't think I really want it to. Today J slept a whole nap in her big bed, and yesterday S passed her four month check-up with flying colors. I can't imagine better work, better accomplishments to celebrate right now.
So 2011 - I loved you for how I thought you would be manageable and how you were unexpectedly glorious instead. You are, I think, the year my last child was born. You held in your ending some of the sweetest moments I will ever know, and I'll think of them every time Salome smiles.
But oh, 2012. I can't wait for you to get here. Mostly because I fully expect you are the year I will start sleeping all through the night again on a regular basis. (please.)
I wish you all love and wholeness this coming year. May it be full of life that you will someday love to remember.