I’m positive there’s a direct correlation between my advancing age and the increasing difficulty in staying up until midnight to celebrate the coming of the new year. As always, we gathered at Lynnette’s parents’ house, but this time those three cans of Pepsi (maybe that was part of the problem) did nothing to help me on to 12 AM.
Madison spent most of her night with her cousin Charlie making a mess on the street. They went through a ton of Pop-Pops and other harmless fireworks. I barely saw her last night, and I suppose that’s going to start happening more and more as she gets older. I didn’t mind, though. She’s been such a great help with the twins during the day. She deserved an extended period of time without having to worry about Cole and/or Avery. She ate a ton of grapes last night because of some superstition she found out about – probably through the internet – recently. I hope that she continues to read, write, draw, and learn in this new year. She’s got a great heart and I hope it grows even bigger. I hope she and I will be able to spend a little more time together at beach or pool, just like the old days.
Last year Madison slept over at Lynnette’s parents’ house because Cole and Avery weren’t quite 2 months old yet. We were totally committed to making it to midnight, but Cole and Avery were drowsy by 10. They were delirious at 10:30. Then, some time around 11, Cole faceplanted into the edge of a coffee table. You can see how the line runs from the bridge of his nose down across his cheek. We took that as the signal that it was time to go. We were home by 11:05, and Cole was asleep in bed by 11:08. The explosions around our home didn’t bother him at all. And he was the one who napped in the afternoon! Man, some guys just can’t handle New Year’s, I guess.
Well. Avery’s is a different story. She did not take a nap yesterday afternoon except for the 15 minutes between our house and Lynnette’s parents’, which included a stop at Ninja Sushi. She was out for maybe an additional 20 minutes before she woke, realized she was late to the party, and started screaming at everybody. But somehow, she made it to midnight. I left Cole in bed at about 11:50 because I wanted to spend the turn of the year with Lynnette. I found Lynnette laid out in the living room next to an empty pillow. A few feet away, Avery was sitting with a frisbee, making her mouse noises. “What are you doing?” I asked. She laughed. I scooped her up and placed her between Lynnette and me. She rolled onto her chest, climbed all over Lynnette, and used her as a stepping stone to get on the couch. She crawled and laughed as the clock struck 12 and Mililani Mauka erupted. You don’t need to be an English major to see the metaphor.
For obvious reasons, 2016 was the most challenging year of my life. It was the latter, more dramatic, more somber half of a tale that began in 2015. Someday, I hope to tell the full story. But for now? Thank you to everyone who supported Avery and our family during those dark summer days. I am still floored by the love that surrounded us then; to see Avery now, it’s hard to believe that any of it really happened. But I know it did. And I will never forget it and all of you. I hope 2017 has love, contentment, peace, and happiness for all of us.
Happy New Year!