Last night I slept in my old childhood bedroom and in the same bed I slept in all those years ago. I wasn’t alone like when I was a kid. I had to share the space with my husband.
If I have to pee in the middle of the night I have to crawl over him to get out of the bed. My body doesn’t like climbing over that mountain these days. I have a hard time understanding this body that isn’t quite as nimble as it used to be.
This has been our New Year’s Eve routine for so many years I can’t remember when we started doing it, but my guess is probably when we had babies. We spend the night because we don’t want to be out on the roads on New Year’s Eve for safety, but also because it’s nice to climb the stairs and head back to the old bedroom where its toasty warm instead of climbing into a cold car for a 20 minute drive to get home and climb into a warm bed. We all could sleep soundly knowing we all were safe, and this too is my home.
It was also about more time together, stretching that time for all we could. We could get up in the morning in our jammies and messy hair and cook breakfast and drink too much coffee, because we had no agenda of being anywhere FAST, just time to be together, time to laugh and giggle over silly things like our annual game of Tripoly.
Some years I had trouble keeping my eyes open and some year’s I would head up to bed before midnight usually with a baby in my arms. There were years with babies or toddlers or little kids to share that full size bed with my husband and I. It was crowded, but crowded with love. I couldn’t imagine it any other way, even when some baby was throwing an arm or a leg at my face somewhere in the night and my nose was mashed up against the wall. Now the baby of the family can be found sleeping on the couch downstairs all by himself, unafraid, mostly, to be alone.
Last night my eyes closed early after my older son and his new bride left. My dad, my brother, my husband and the youngest son and I had played our annual game of Tripoly, that game has been pretty cutthroat some years, especially when my Mom was alive. We all hated it when someone would win the King/Queen or 8,9,10 pots that had built and built and built, or when some little kid, playing around threw extra change in one of the pots, “STOP! What are you doing? We demand a correct count for our wins or losses at the end of the game! NEVER mess with our game of Tripoly!” Last night my father was the big winner. We aren’t so crazy these days; we let him win without groaning over his win, our loss. We play for pennies for goodness sake. We’ve matured over the years.
So yes I fell asleep early and was startled when all the men yelled, “Happy New Year!” at New York Time, not our time, yet I fell back asleep again only to be startled once more at our time. It’s never been about seeing out the end of one year, to see in a new year, a better year, a happy year. It’s always been about being home, being with my family.
Two minutes later I said goodbye to my brother, who decided he didn’t mind driving home, instead of sleeping on the couch. I wished everyone a Happy New Year and said goodnight. I climbed those stairs to my old bedroom, to my old bed, crawled over my husband and drifted off to sleep, till I had to pee. Happy New Year and whatever you hope to gain from it. Me? I just want to get out alive with my family by my side.