I spent New Year’s Eve alone, but don’t feel sorry for me. Not one bit. I spent the evening putting together an IKEA chest in my son’s new condo while he was at a party in Uptown celebrating being young and employed. His sister was out celebrating somewhere, too. I’m happier if I don’t know exactly where my grown kids are on New Year’s Eve. We all reach this point, don’t we? We realize we’ve done all we can in terms of trying to keep them alive, say our prayers, and just go to bed.
After all these years, I am a Jedi Master when it comes to putting together IKEA furniture. The pictures and directional arrows that pass for instructions actually make sense to me. This is probably only because I am part Swede. I tightened the last screw as the ball dropped in New York City, toasted my mad IKEA skills with a glass of orange juice, and was in bed by 12:30. Their father, who always has the good sense to go to bed at a reasonable hour, was fast asleep three hours away, no doubt dreaming of ski trails since we finally have snow.
It is January. The Boy is moved. It is a fresh start for us all.
The Christmas tree came down yesterday. There are a few pieces of dried up fudge in a container on the kitchen counter waiting to be pitched and a ham bone to make into some bean soup. This week, a new semester begins. I’m looking forward to teaching a Novels course for the first time.
Our house is too quiet and too clean again. For the first time in years, there are more empty bins than full ones in the garage. Our kids each have their own nests and lives they’ve chosen and earned. And this is good. So good.
Who knows? It’s a new year. Maybe their dad and I will get a dog to fill the empty space in this nest of ours. After all, nests should never be too quiet or too clean or too empty, right? At any stage of life?
Today, as I ponder fresh starts, that is all I know for sure.