New Year’s Eve. It’s pouring here. Apparently the wettest year on record. It doesn’t really stop us from doing anything, even our neighbors were bbq’ing yesterday. I’m stranded in the house today waiting for the plumber and without a car. My little one has reconnected with his first friend from aged 2 and now at aged 8, I need to be around regardless. They are so funny with their reunion. My boy is quite tactile and keeps touching his little friend’s cheek and shoulder and the other boy has become very English and isn’t too sure about all the touchy-feely stuff. I feed them all the good UK crap that’s in the cupboards: Quavers, Digestives, Whatsits and cheesy strings. We’re so excited to have our English versions of all our junk food that I buy everything while we’re here and I bet our little visitor thinks he hit the junk food jackpot with his Hamm lunch, adding Cadbury fingers for dessert.
It’s our third week here and true to form, we are all finally really here. The first week is full of jet lag and anxiety, with an overwhelming desire to settle. The second week is in fact settling and our family rhythm is found and by the third week, we have stopped visiting our lives and started living them. And now it’s the last day of the year, and no matter where anyone is in the world of December 31st, it is the same feeling for all…the great Marker Day.
What will next year bring? What happened this year? How the heck did it go by so fast! We celebrate en familie at Sophie’s every year with a careless abandon of real reflection and a lot of boogying. The boys get suitably embarrassed by my dancing and I wiggle at them from across the room with no apprehension whatsoever. It is always good fun and usually ridiculously funny.
Husband and I have managed to reconnect from all the time spent away from each other and have brought the whole emotional ride into one look from across the room; ‘I love you’ my eyes say, he returns with an ‘I need you’ from his stare. We write this story together.
Packing awaits me at the end of this week and I will do so with a heavy heart. It’ll be six months before I can bring everyone back again and it’s a wrench in our hearts. Our neighbors announced they are moving – got an offer too good to refuse for their house. It was like they told us someone was dying. We all nearly wept, we were so upset. We live on a lane that faces a golf course and is too narrow for cars to fit down. The six houses that face the lane are special. They live two doors down and have done so since we moved here 12 years ago. Our kids have grown up together. We have no leg to stand on with our declarations of disapproval as we are the ones who left for LA. But we always come back to the lane, and their presence has been key in our life feeling fulfilled and at ease here.
Change; it’s inevitable most of the time and uncomfortable. My family have been masters at it but it still can make us feel scared. The best way to deal with it is to embrace it. So here we go, 2013 upon us without a map yet of what it’s going to look like, where we’re going to be, as always. It’s not the usual set up, but it works. And for that, I am very, very grateful.
Happy New Year.