Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

This night is a gauntlet every year, ever since my kids got old enough to go off on their own. My girl just left here with two of her friends, all of them in their tiny black tube skirts and high heel black boots and ripped black tights and faces sweet as can be, their child faces still visible under mascara and liner artfully applied, silver hoop earrings catching the light as they twirl, checking outfits from all angles, excitement and familiar camaraderie and teenage life force off the charts, and now they're off to meet another friend for dinner, then meeting up with two more to go to a party downtown, and here's where I hold my breath, because no matter what they tell me, that party could be any kind of scene, and that's where I have to trust their good judgement, remember they're off to college in a few short months, remember, as Scott says, to let go of the pretense that the steering wheel I am clutching onto is connected to any kind of gear at all.

Come to think of it, my husband also says that. When I'm about to go into control freak mode over something related to our kids,  he'll often say, You might think you have your hands on the wheel and you're steering the vehicle, but what you don't see is that they disconnected the gears a while ago. He'll have something to say about the fact that I heard it like new from someone else today, but then Scott connected it to visuals, the tiger with the monkey on his back, representing the conscious and unconscious minds. Go visit the tearful dishwasher for a new year's eve post to set your year up just right, and to discover what the heck I'm talking about.


So yeah. The girls are off on their adventures. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy proffering cab money and giving instructions to call or text me if the plan changes, and asking if the cell phones were charged, and determining who exactly was going to which place, because one of their number is going to a different party, and then they're going to meet up after and go for after-midnight breakfast, their new year tradition by now, and then sleep at the house of my friend Isabella, whose lovely daughter is one of the charming and fabulously decked out crew.

My son, meanwhile is across the pond, in England spending new year's eve with his girlfriend. He left two days ago, looking like a man of the world, plane ticket in hand that he had paid for by working many lifeguarding stints for his college swim team, hoarding his pennies and checking flight prices every day until he had enough. The funny thing is, he's going to be the parent who is just like me, the control freak. Of my children, he was the more calculated one in high school, as I was, so he knows what kids can get up to, as I did. My daughter will be the chilled out one, more like her dad, grooving along philosophically, content to allow the steering wheel illusion to keep us busy in the meanwhile.

Now that the whirlwind of teenage girls has swept out the house, my sweet man and I are lost in our respective books on the Kindle Fires we gave each other for Christmas. I am on the third book of the Hunger Games series, and I'm riveted. He's lost in the age of sail, in some swashbuckling adventure at sea. It's feels peaceful and companionable here, if I don't let myself fall into worrying about events over which I have no control. We're going to eat Chinese food for dinner and then later we will get ourselves  gussied up too, and we'll stroll upstairs to our friends' apartment, where we'll raise a glass with other souls and welcome in the new year. See you on the other side!


20 comments:

  1. Scott's post and visual really resonated with me today too. I love the pictures you described of your kids, so full of light and life. It's all we can do to hold for balance some days, let alone pretend we're steering anything. I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!
    See you in 2012 too!
    xo

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  2. I hope everyone enjoys themselves. I am just back from a lovely afternoon with a friend and her sister-in-law. We saw "War Horse" and had dinner. I am in for the night. Have a fabulous New Year.

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  3. My 13 year old granddaughter went to a New Year sleep over at a friends this year. The first time she's missed the annual family sleep over. But this annual sleep over is only attended by those without other plans and this year she had other plans. The wheels go round and round and the seasons change but never change.

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  4. Sounds like a perfect night (except for the worrying and steering!) -- Happy New Year to you and yours, dear Angella!

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  5. Happy New Year! I suppose the steering wheel is an illusion for all of us, whether we have kids or not. It's useful to remember that sometimes.

    Thanks for your insightful comments on my blog. Your wisdom is helping me through this hard, hard time.

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  6. Thanks so much for the link to the Tearful Dishwasher, by the way. An apt metaphor indeed!

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  7. I'm so glad you are reading the Hunger Games series! I absolutely loved those books and have been pushing them obnoxiously on all my reader friends.

    Happy new year, dear friend!

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  8. Happy New Year, Angella! I hope this year brings you and your family even greater abundance in all the ways that matter.

    And I'm glad that metaphor works for you, it really helps me. When I can remember to let go.

    yrs-

    Scott

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  9. Happy New Year Angella, Pop! I said this to you in a comment on my blog, you are a beautiful story, rich and warm. I hope 2012 is amazing for you.
    love, deirdre

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  10. Happy Brand New Year, Angella. And Yay for Kindle Fire! I hope you download Fire On Her Tongue the very first ebook of contemporary womens' poetry EVER (I'm so excited about the new year and everything) love to you and yours,
    Rebecca

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  11. I didn't have to worry "much" this year. The youngest and 6 of her friends had dinner with us and then partied right under my nose until the wee hours. The oldest was with a friend and his parents so no worries there. But that middle guy ~ he was in Miami at South Beach ~ (a mother's nightmare) ~ partying with his football teammates and Mark Cuban! I said my prayers and fell into a fitful sleep. Happy New Year Angella!

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  12. With an ocean between us, I worry more than is healthy about my 24 year old daughter and struggle sometimes to keep my fears to myself. The memory of myself at 24 and the bad decisions I somehow survived feels too fresh at times even 27 years later.

    Of course, she's not me and she's had a foundation that I had never had. Knowing that makes it easier to trust that she's got the wheel now on her own.

    Thanks for sharing something so tender and your husband's supportive words too. Happy New Year, I'm glad I found your blog in 2011.

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  13. I held my five year old as he fell asleep and still I checked his breathing. By the time he is a teenager, I better be living that steering wheel/disconnected gears metaphor or it's gonna be a long decade.
    Happy New Year!

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  14. Happy New Year, Beautiful. Happy New Year. Let's all have a good one, okay?

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  15. Happy New Year, Angella. Chinese good and Kindles sound like a good night to me.
    xo

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  16. You are so very good. I adore you.
    Rebecca

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  17. I am so with you, my dear soul-sister, so with you...I rang in the new year with my husband sleeping peacefully by my side after we went out for a lovely fondue dinner for two. Seems we have come full circle in so many ways. From New Year's Eves spent with four babies, to little girls, to preteens, to teenagers and women who now have their own new years to celebrate in their own new ways. It feels strange but not unfamiliar. Mark and I are back where we began as two, only now, when midnight strikes and I am resting by his side, my mind drifts to our four angels who are out doing what we used to do. And I text them each at midnight, anxiously awaiting a few words in return so that I can then join my husband in dreamland.

    Happy, happy New Year, sweet friend. I am here, with you, for the changes that are to come too soon.

    Much love and big hugs.

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  18. I adore you too!

    Happy New Year!

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  19. Happy Happy New Year to you Dear Angella!
    xxoo
    yo

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  20. you are so loved, angella. you are taking this in, yes?

    bisous, cherie.

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