New Year’s Eve 2013: The best New Year’s celebration I have ever had…..starring my 4 and 6 year olds????
Yes. Hard to believe maybe, but true.
I have not stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve for the past several years. With the addition of our beloved wee ones to our schedule, sleep is even more precious to me than ever before (and it was ALWAYS precious). I am hard pressed to stay up past ten (OK, nine, truth be told) on any given night. New Year’s Eve included.
Unlike a lot of our (younger, hipper, more energetic?) parent-peers, Desperate Hubby and I don’t often indulge in an evening without our children. We have had a babysitter no more than a handful of times since the kids were born, both due to availability, and because we honestly enjoy spending time together as a family. We each experienced more than our fair-share of single adventures in earlier years, and we genuinely enjoy being with our kids as much as possible. Call us weird….we probably are. Well, yes, we are. Very weird.
Anyway, for the welcome party for 2013 we had the rare opportunity to blend time with both our friends and our precious children.
I must digress here for a moment.
As some of you know, Desperate Hubby played with a rock ‘n roll band for many years before I met him. He continued to play with the band after we married for the majority of weekends until little Annabelle was a year old and Batman was five months away from joining us. Then, after twenty years of playing guitar, traveling, and singing with his closest buddies, DH hung it up.
He sold every guitar he owned, the band trailer, all of the PA gear, and countless other music accouterments. He was done. Just like that.
I have asked him many times over the past five years if he missed the band. The answer was always the same: I miss the guys, but I don’t miss the lost weekends, the smoke in the bars, the Friday afternoons setting up when I should have been working….you get the picture.
A few months ago that all changed.
It started with a cheap acoustical guitar ordered from Mexico, via eBay. Then a few afternoons playing along with satellite TV. Before I knew it DH was practicing with the band again, then just a few weeks ago they had their first real gig.
That led to the next gig: a private New Year’s party at the home of our good friends, Tami and Larry. They really are good friends; in fact, they are the couple that introduced me to DH. I love them for that, and for many other reasons.
I was thrilled.
In addition to the opportunity of spending time with people we hadn’t seen enough in the past few years, this was also a golden chance to let the kids experience Daddy in a whole new light. They both enjoy watching DH practice, and Batman has an unerring ability to remember both tunes and the words to complex melodies. He can play the guitar pretty darn well for a four-year old, and loves to listen to Daddy rehearse. He was beside himself about the opportunity to watch Daddy play. His sister, on the other hand, wanted to dance. And dance.
I was excited for the party too, but I was realistic. My kids are, for better or for worse, very scheduled humans. They awake at about the same time every day, and go to bed at about the same time every night: 7:30 or 8:00. Which is, if you are not well versed in time sequences, four to five hours before the New Year rolls around.
I planned to bring the darlings to the party, let them watch a set or two buoyed by the music and the attention, and head for home by 10:00.
As has happened many times before in my life, I had no idea what I was in for.
We arrived at the party early; by 7:30 there were just a few people there. Both kids were tired and a little cranky. Annabelle and I had been out riding our horses that afternoon, and a few hours in sub-freezing temps takes a lot out of anyone, especially a six-year-old (serious tactical error on my part). Batman was tired too. We have had many, many parties in the past two weeks, and he is a man who lives and cries by his bedtime routine, if you get my drift. By the time we were there for fifteen minutes I was just praying they made it through the first song.
Then, friends showed up.
Auntie Kris was there first. She took both kids around to get some snacks. And shared an excellent bottle of red wine. Not with Annabelle. With me. That was my first and last cocktail of the evening, but it sure did make my night.
Then Karen and Lenny showed up. Lenny is an original member of the band, and Karen was one of the first “horse show people” to welcome me to Idaho. And the kids LOVE her. (I do too!)
Aunt Susie and her friend Leonard weren’t far behind. Batman adores his Aunt Susie.
Leonard’s pretty cool too.
Auntie Shane and David were soon to follow. With homemade pot stickers. I didn’t take a picture of the pot stickers. But I ate them. They were delicious!
I am seriously enamored of them. Both the pot stickers and Shane and David.
The kids danced. And laughed. And played music.
DH knelt and let Batman play along on the guitar. I love him. Both of hims.
Did I mention they danced?
And I am so sorry to break it to you over social-media, but Kristi……you have some serious competition.
There were a couple of disturbing moments……
so I’d just like to say to John Booe, if you truly do have a couple of extra drum sets on hand…..may I suggest Craigslist?
We were treated to some awesome crooners. Lenny’s voice is….unparalleled? Yes. That’s it. I could listen to him sing forever.
And Rarig….no words can say.
DH, John (who I am punishing by withholding his picture on account of the drumming thing) and Jay…..you sound awesome too. I know I am prejudiced, but I am really not one to offer gratuitous musical comments. You are incredible.
The kids and I even got a rare photo together. Though Batman was obviously so embarrassed he couldn’t bear to look.
And Annabelle could only spare a glance. The other way.
I was so proud of DH. The band sounded great, and the kids were seriously in awe of him.
When midnight suddenly rolled around nobody was more surprised than I. The kids were still going strong, and the evening had positively flown by. We all energetically counted down the seconds to the New Year (with varying degrees of accuracy) and toasted with our sparkling cider, then walked through the snow to our truck in the single-digit degree weather for the drive home.
I can honestly say it was the best New Year’s celebration of my life.