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happy happy

My son called from work this afternoon to wish me a happy new year. I told him I was on my way to a theatre matinee. “With a friend?” he asked.

“On my own,” I said. “You get great tickets for one.”

There was a pause. “All by your lonesome?” he asked.
Oh my beloved boy. There is nothing lonesome about going to the theatre by yourself. I got ready and left when I wanted, enjoyed every minute of a superb play – Parfumerie, a jewel of a production directed and designed by my friends Morris Panych and Ken MacDonald, and a more talented pair would be hard to find anywhere in the world – and bicycled home on a mild, spring-like afternoon. It’s now New Year’s Eve, and I am, indeed, all on my lonesome. Tonight I won’t even turn on the TV to watch the ball fall. There’s so much reading to do, let alone writing, let alone everything else. I did rent a DVD, “Of Gods and Men,” in case I feel like vegging out. I’ve had a glass and a half of red already, and it’s not even six.
And I’ve had a little weep already, too. The Globe had an article about a kindergarten class that is bussed regularly to an old folk’s home, where the children flourish under the attention of the elderly. It works partially because so few of the kids have regular contact with a grandparent.
It hit me hard – next year I am going, I pray, to be a grandparent, one with regular contact. I want to be with this child, to read stories and put together puzzles and go to Riverdale Farm to look at cows. It’s hard to believe that someone as incredibly young as I will have a grandchild, but it seems it will be so. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I’m waiting.
I was an impatient distracted floundering mother, and then a single mother, going mad. The kids were given love, no question about that, and I did squeeze in time for stories and puzzles, but on the verge of exhaustion and hysteria. I decided once that we should all make a gingerbread house for Xmas, that could be a wonderful family tradition – and ended up screaming at a nine-year old Anna because she wasn’t doing it right.
I realize that I was almost exactly as pregnant with Anna on New Year’s Eve 1980 as she is tonight with her boychild, thirty-one years later. Next year, I will hold that small person in my arms. Nothing matters more. The child of my child.
It’s silent in my beautiful house. I’m not putting on sparkling clothes to go out and get drunk, as I did at one time on this night. I’m not preparing a family meal or taking care of anyone’s needs but my own. All on my lonesome.
Happy New Year to you all, dear friends and readers. May you find great joy in 2012.
P.S. Here’s Randy Bachman playing “Rock around the clock”! Dancin’ time. Joy. “Tutti frutti”!
Wop bop a lop mop a lop bop bom!
The Star tells me, “‘Nesting’ key trend for New Year.” I’m already all over that.
PACE Jack Layton. We miss you so very, very much.

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17 Responses to “happy happy”

  1. Lyn says:

    Happy new year Beth. I share your feelings about being a rather impatient, overtired Mom and I look forward to being a grandmother … to have time to spend with a little person with no distractions. May the words flow easily in 2012!

  2. theresa says:

    Happy New Year from the west coast, Beth, where it's mild, the chickadees are in a feeding frenzy, and where possibilities loom ahead for all of us.

  3. beth says:

    Thank you both for your good wishes. I give thanks, this first day of 2012, for the new ways of communicating now open to us. It's miraculous, isn't it, to feel so close to people we've never met?

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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