Thursday, December 27, 2007

A favorite New Year Eve memory

A few of my dot-comrades (Eleanor, Lauren J and Emiline) wrote "New Year's Eve" blog posts today.  Their posts reminded me of one of my favorite memories.

It was our first NYE as a married couple.  Still exhausted and poor from our wedding and Christmas, we were planning a quiet night at home.  A horrible turn of events changed our plans. To protect her privacy, I will not use her name.

She lost her baby.  She and her husband had been trying for quite a long time. She had wrapped the positive pregnancy test in a box to give to her husband.   She just didn't have miscarriage, but lost the baby and almost her own life in the process.  Because most of her friends are nurses, we had to "heal" her.  Once she was home from the hospital, each of us took a day to be in charge.  We brought dinner, we played with her 2 other children, and we did whatever she needed us to do.

Paul and I were assigned New Years Eve.  She had sent her husband hunting for the holiday, he reluctantly went. I made lasagna, garlic bread and salad. We bought some champagne and cheesecake. We headed over to her house.

As usual, her kids met Paul at the door.  He has some sort of magnetism that draws children to him.  Her girls were no different.  They wanted to show him their Christmas presents. One of the girls got a classical acoustic guitar.  She asked Paul to tune it. Paul and the girls stayed in the living room while she and I visited in the kitchen while dinner was heating up.  We had to force them to stop playing around and sit down to eat their dinner.

After dinner, another friend showed up at the door with her two girls.  Paul now had an audience of 4 little girls.  He started playing the guitar and singing. All the girls danced crazily around the living room.  He would stop, mid-song and yell "DEAD BUG!" The girls would instantly drop to the floor and flail their arms and legs in the air.  This went on for hours.

As midnight approached, we turned on the TV to have "Dick Clark"(I don't think it was him, but whoever it was) give us the countdown.  Paul and the girls went into the kitchen to get their pots and spoons.  With the TV full blast, Paul and the girls stood in the front yard and anxiously waited for the last 10 seconds.  Then it was time, at the top of their lungs they yelled out the last 9 seconds of the year.  At the strike of midnight, Paul and his gang of elementary school girls yelled "Happy New Year!" and ran around the front yard banging their pots. 

Paul decided that the celebrating should continue and loaded the four girls into my jeep, seat belted them in and took them around the neighborhood.  When they found a house that looked like it's occupants were asleep, he would put the car in park, the girls would get out of their seatbelts, stick their heads out the sunroof and scream "Happy New Year!" at the top of their lungs.  They would quickly jump back into their seats, click back into their seatbelts and search out their next victim.  As I sat in the house with the girl's mothers, we could hear their exclamations as they traveled from house to house.  It was the first time I saw her smile and it didn't seem forced. I was so glad I had met and married this goofy man.

I am happy to report that she got pregnant again and had another beautiful daughter.  It has been several years since that NYE, but those girls never forgot their night with "Crazy and Fun Uncle Paul".

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