Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
New Year. What do these words mean? Does it mean a less-than-stellar year down the tubes and a better and more exciting one to look forward to? Does it imply renewal and rebirth of oneself – making resolutions that you “swear this time” you’ll keep? Or, is January first just another day?
Right now I’m probably debating what I want to do tonight — if I want to be nursing a potential hangover tomorrow if we actually get a babysitter and go anywhere - yes, I have children; I can still celebrate — or I’ll be feeling just fine tomorrow due to staying in and watching the ball drop with the family. It is pretty hysterical, however, for me to compare my New Year’s Eves before and after children.
Starting in high school and throughout some of college, when my parents left town every New Year’s Eve, my friends and I would immediately pounce on their house. Generally, we decorated, dressed up in sparkly gowns, and began the night sophisticatedly sipping champagne. As the ball got closer to dropping and Dick Clark’s excitement level began soaring, the drinks began flowing more freely. One of our parties in particular got a wee bit out of hand. My parents have asked me to gloss over the good parts of this party, so I’ll just say the hot tub had to be completely emptied and refilled once the party was over. Oh, and we only had to get the spackle out once.
From what I remember of those parties, they were a lot of fun, and I miss the crazy New Year’s Eves sometimes. I miss the excitement of not knowing who I would kiss at midnight, and if that kiss would lead anywhere. I miss the drunken debauchery and I even sometimes miss the arrival of the police officers.
At the same time, I loved our New Year’s Eve celebration two years ago. Eleanor was born that afternoon and that night Andy lay next to me, cozy in the hospital bed watching the ball drop as we gazed at our brand new baby. (Andy also smuggled some alcohol into the room, of course, because, hey — it’s New Year’s! And hey — it’s Andy!)
So while not all of my New Year’s Eves have been packed full of wild exploits, sometimes it’s nice to have a low-key night. I’ve always felt as if it’s one of those holidays anyway that is so built up, you feel like you have to do something spectacularly and insanely amazing, and if you don’t, it’s just a let-down.
The New Year’s Eve I spent in the hospital was the best one so far. I loved that I knew who I would kiss. I love that the kiss continues to lead us somewhere.
Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband Andy and their kids Adele and Eleanor. She teaches college English and psychology courses and would like to wish her daughter Eleanor a very happy birthday today and her daddy, Walt Mangen, a very happy birthday tomorrow!