Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in the New Year, Susie Style

I drafted this post in my head, on the last night of the year and the eve of the last night of our “vacation.” I use quotations because when you take three children for two weeks to three different states to visit family, you can hardly call it a vacation.

Like most times of my life, I vacillate between two extremes of mood. Last night, sitting cozy with my glass of wine in the warmth of the fire, I watched the snow blow against the window. It was the perfect way to spend the last night of the year. I felt equally at peace with the moment and eager to be in my own home.

The trip has been full of frustrations – weather dictating our arrivals and departures, traffic causing more delays, a busy visiting schedule leaving not enough time to do activities but too much time doing nothing… And then there are all the little family issues that cause the gnashing of teeth and the rolling of eyes. It turns out that keeping my thoughts to myself is EXHAUSTING – when I’ve been able to do that, that is. For example, both my parents’ house and my mother-in-law’s house are full of things that don’t work properly. At my parents’, it was practically impossible to turn on a light or use the toaster without blowing a fuse. My mother-in-law’s house had only sporadic hot water when wanting to shower but perfectly fine boiling water when washing my clothes using the cold setting. And then of course, there is the annual holiday viral joy starting in Pennsylvania and spread throughout Southern New England.

The boys, when not sleeping off a fever or buzzing on cold medicine, seem to have genuinely had a good time. Celebrating Christmas and birthdays (both Jess and my husband are Christmas babies) in three separate houses, playing with cousins and generally getting whatever treats their hearts desire is certainly a great way to spend a couple of weeks. But I must admit, all this togetherness has me counting down the minutes to the start of school on Monday.

It will be wonderfully familiar to get back to our routine in our own home, sleeping in our own beds and eating our own food. At the same time, I wish I could take a bit more time off from my to-do list and daily life worries. Once we unlock our back door and drop the duffel bags of dirty laundry on the floor, life will be BUSY again. And it will be hard to leave the beach as it is hard to not feel that all is well with the world when you are looking at views such as this:

It feels like a month since we have been home as two weeks is too long to be away. But it has also not been long enough to see everyone and everything that we want to see. We always think we might get to have a date, what with all the family available to babysit, and there never seems to be time. Oh well, maybe next year – except next year, we will stay home for the holidays.

Happy New Year Everyone!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh wow, I should give you a medal...I thought WE had it rough with holidays and relatives, but you totally have me beat. I hope you have nothing but some R&R scheduled for Monday!!!

Natalie Riess said...

We've got working internet, hot water, electricity and a small furry creature that squeaks.

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

Happy belated birthday and welcome home! I almost didn't make it through far fewer days in TN - you are amazing. I hope your family appreciated it!

Madame Queen said...

Happy New Year!

You know, this morning I told my mother, "I love my kids, but I am SO glad to be going to work today!"