2009 -a new year, a time for plans, beginnings and resolutions, but I find myself dragging my feet. I am still on "comfort and joy", not quite ready to move on to "ring in the new". I just want another day...or two, curled up with a book and a cup of tea, Christmas tree and fireplace glowing in the background.
Time passes so quickly! The boys grow, seasons change, each new grade, age and stage passing in a blur of activity. Part of me would freeze frame life right now if I could, just for awhile. I would choose some average weekend day, where S and I sleep in, snuggle, joke. He brings me tea in bed. We read the newspaper, watch TV, talk and linger together, warm and peaceful. Then the boys come bounding upstairs, full of smiles and ginger, burrowing under the covers, knocking newspapers everywhere, tickling, laughing, arguing, hungry. Usually S takes them downstairs to start breakfast, while I stay for just a few more minutes in bed, alone and perfectly comfortable. Then our day...it doesn't really matter what we do, errands, shopping, games, playing, maybe a movie or some other outing, whatever. We're together and content. Even at the inevitable moment when a twin disagreement turns big and loud, and I'm massaging my forehead, frustrated and at a loss, I'm still content...deep down, rooted, strong happiness. The kind that doesn't depend on moods or events or things going "smoothly". I'm just happy because I am here, and here is where I'm meant to be. So I would freeze this regular day, and live it for awhile Groundhog Day style. I would pause it for an hour here or a day there just to listen to the sweetness of L's voice as he plays or E's laugh or to memorize the particular hazel-brown of S's eyes when he looks into mine.
Sentimental, yes. Sickeningly so...but I do get sentimental and reluctant at the change of year or age or the fading of a season. It's not that I don't have optimism for the time to come or faith in the longevity of this tree-rooted gladness which has grown inside of me these many years...I just can't help but mourn the passing of this year of pleasure, hurdles, work, learning, 8 year old kids, 33 year old self, husband (whose age shall remain respectfully unnamed)...just a little. I need awhile to say goodbye to it properly, like an old friend that I'm going to miss.
This friend 2008, held my hand while I was in pain, and never tired of my complaints, as I slowly discovered that pain was better accepted, than feared or fought (and how we celebrated together when I was finally well again!). This friend has laughed with me uproariously, until we couldn't breathe, until we thought we might pee, until we just couldn't laugh anymore...at my husband's jokes, at the amazing antics of my sons and at my own ridiculousness. This friend held a mirror up, although I complained of cruelness, so I could see a few things about myself that it turns out I really needed to see -man, was I pissed! But it did me good. This friend watched me as I opened up my heart to new friends for the first time in a long while, and cheered me on as I rediscovered my own creativity, telling me I was brave and wonderful and flattering me shamelessly whenever I created anything from a cupcake to a novel. We revelled together in the quiet, pleasant times and walked steadily through the bad. We read good books, drank good wine and cooked good food. We giggled appreciatively over how hot my husband is -and how dorky! We marvelled at how tall and clever and strong my sons have grown.
But most of all, this year 2008 and I loved...epic,sweeping, deep, sweet, achingly, frighteningly immensely huge love. Particularly of course, my husband and sons...how can I even describe the bittersweet triumph of watching your children grow up and away from yourself? It is inevitable, it is good, but fast. Too damn fast! My babies into children, my children into young men in the blink of an eye...and really never mine at all. They are so astounding in their unique whole person-ness, so perfect even in their flaws and challenges. This year we saw the seeds of character, growing fast, like those accelerated plant life films for science class. The life cycle of a bean in 10 seconds...the character of a man unfolding in 5! We saw courage, compassion, logic and ambition unfurl in each of them, but still with the sweetness and eager innocence of little boys. What a brilliant age! What a challenging age!
So I have loved, and have been loved. I have felt such love surrounding me from my 3 guys and my family (especially you, Miss Elizabeth!) and my friends. I find myself gathering friends, old friends that I was careless of and new friends that I am actually allowing myself to love, like pearls on a necklace, like rosary beads to run through my fingers as I say my thanks. And I do say my thanks...often, reverently, joyously, loud!
So I linger on the doorstep of this house of 2008's. I leave slowly, with a tug of nostalgia in my heart. 2009 will soon be my friend too, heck it might even be an easier relationship, but 2008 and I really did some growing together, and we were tight. It is with great fondness that I say good bye.
11 hours ago