It’s New Year’s and I’m thinking of when I was young and how my mom used to take my sister and brother and me down to Poppies, our restaurant, to see my dad every New Year’s Eve. It was so lively there with everyone celebrating and we got all bundled up and fancy and got to blow horns and wear party hats and pop those little plastic champagne bottles that blow out paper confetti. It was warm and happy around that wooden bar in the dark greens and reds and candles and the snow outside with everyone singing and blowing on those whistles that don’t make any noise but just unwind a tube of paper. And I was young and everything felt filled with wonder and safe and life was an adventure. And the confetti from those tiny plastic champagne bottles was exciting. And the whistles with no sound. And paper party hats. And everything was good.
Now Z’s in Colorado for the holidays and he called me and his mom was walking the dog and she fell and broke her hip and now she’s in the hospital and has to have surgery and all of her kids are there with her on New Year’s. And it reminded me of everything. Of being with your family and being a kid and then a grown up and goddammit how hard it all is sometimes.
I was thinking about all of these things. About being young and excited about paper horns and hats. About parents and children. About how none of it seems to turn out quite like you ever thought it would and everything feels more fragile than it once did.
And then I lost it.
I just lost it, in the kitchen, and just broke down and sobbed. Which is something that just happens when you’re alone and thinking of all of the beautiful things in your life and how hard it is still and how hard it is for everyone and all of the love and sadness. And these moments stringing themselves together. And memories. And you still don’t know what you’re doing or supposed to do or how to make ends meet as it were or what to do with your brave little self who has so much joy and just feels it being squashed sometimes. And you’re just losing it in front of your refrigerator and you have to find a way to pull yourself together and kind of laugh a little at how ridiculous it is to be crying in your kitchen just because you opened the refrigerator and thought of something sad that made you think of everything. And how life is just not going how you thought it would or how you think it should even though you are so lucky in so many ways and so blessed to be loved and cared about and have friends and family. But sometimes you just find yourself all alone in the kitchen and you can’t help but cry.
Because you’re longing for the delight of paper party hats and confetti. And a world that felt secure.