December 31, 2012

Joyous New Year!

Well, friends, it's a new year.  It will be tomorrow, anyway.  But when you live to please people with a 7:30 bed time, the new year comes a few hours early.  And really, it couldn't come a moment too soon for me.  Joe spent the night on the bathroom floor with some horrific stomach thing, the pipes on the front of the house froze and burst despite the frost free spigot, so I started my day with a call to the plumber.  He was on his way right then and there and I remembered that we are out of checks, so I had to run to the bank and leave the kids home with comatose Joe to do school work (yeah right) while I grabbed cash.  Then this afternoon I went to take Haven to piano lessons, forgetting that they were cancelled for New Years, and managed to slide into a snow bank.  I ended up having to call road side service to get pulled out.  While the whole tow truck incident was a  glitch in my afternoon, it was the highlight of the boys'.  What could be more exciting than a visit from a real tow truck?!?!  But we came home after all the drama and made a plan for the new year.  We rang it in in style - not just early bird style!

I got a wild idea to make one of those paper flying lanterns like in Tangled and write our resolutions on it and send our happy ideas for the new year out into the cosmos.  Unfortunately, I didn't get that wild idea until about 11:30 last night and it takes a little time to make a lantern that will actually fly.  I searched and searched for an alternative and found this guy who made a quick and easy hot air balloon from a leaf bag and some wire and firestarter cubes.  Sadly, they don't sell leaf collecting bags when there's a foot + of snow on the ground, so we improvised with a trash bag and crossed our fingers. didn't get more than a few inches off the ground and then our bag melted.  You might think that would be defeat, but it was pretty exciting to watch and everyone was happy.  Our other activity was to write down things we felt bad about doing in 2012 and were maybe carrying around a little guilt or shame over, and burn those and forget them.

Since our balloon crashed and burned, we tossed our naughty lists in right there in the snow and watched our transgressions smoke and vanish.  I think this was a particularly cathartic for Hannah Jane, who tends to carry around guilt even if she doesn't change her behavior.  She felt pretty good about the idea of some recent crimes, habitual crimes even, being gone so long as she never commits them again.  She talked about her new feeling of a fresh start  about 8 times before bed time.  It reminds me of a radio program I listened to recently about why Catholic confession makes people want to do better rather than feel like they have a free pass to sin and repent.  Their conclusion was that the feeling of a clean slate encourages people to do better and so maybe this little burning of mistakes can feel like her own little Catholic confession.  LOL!

After we cleansed ourselves of our baggage from 2012 and proclaimed our happy goals for the new year, it seemed almost too perfect that as we came in, there was a package on our front step from Yaya, my dad's wife, full of yummy treats and calendars for the new year.  What luck!  So we came in,  made a nice tray of cookies and chocolates, poured some sparkling juice, and began the fun. Big fun to kick off a big new year!

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