This will probably be a relatively short post, but it feels important as it is my “new year’s” post, the last post for the year 2011 and the post to usher in the new year of 2012. I dedicate this post to C., an old friend whom I had not seen in about 8 years, who died this week. A terrible tragedy. The world has lost a really wonderful and great person. And way too early in his life. So the rest of this post will be about life…
Yesterday towards the end of the day, my four year old said, “This is the best day of my life!” If only I could bottle her enthusiasm for a perfectly normal day and give it out to everyone on their worst day.
Here are a few important arguments for choosing life over death even at your most difficult moments. And here I confess, I decided, since I’ve already gotten a bit personal for a therapy blog, and shared my daughter’s statement, I might as well get some help from her again in writing this post as I consider her to be a great expert on the joys of living. My four year old daughter. So here goes.
Some of the most coolest reasons about being alive include the following: “Having to pick flowers.” “Bubbles!” “Dresses and fancy dresses”. “When you have a really good day what do you think your favorite thing about it is?” I ask. “Having to be with Mommy.” (I swear it’s what she said, and if my day has already been great hanging out with her from this morning non stop until now, about 6:15 in the last day of this year, of course it’s just gotten even greater. Some more help from my daughter about what makes life great: “Playing in the pretend play center. It’s a kitchen. It’s lots of cool things it has phones and cups and dressing up stuff. You can cook food. Have my own restaurant. Next when I go to school I’m going to have everyone be the customer, and I want to be the waiter. One is the waiter and one is the chef and the other two people get to be the customers.” (Only four people in the pretend play center at a time…) In fact she has been counting the days to when she gets to go back to Pre-K and talked about missing her teacher. I have seen the pretend play center and it is awesome. Partly because there just isn’t that much stuff in it, but the kids just love it because they get to make up whatever they want with a few kitchen utensil items, some play food and a couple of things to dress up in, and not very fancy stuff at that. But how cool is it to have a restaurant of your own for fifteen minutes, or be the waiter or cook there. Or get married a few times a week and only have it be about the wedding. (There have been more than a few weddings in the pretend play center. And mostly two girls marrying each other.) I think those are a few great things about life, enough to keep us going for a while, I would hope.
Back to the new year’s eve holiday, finally, the end of the long holiday season, which unfortunately too many people are very relieved about, and some are sad about. But there is still tonight, New Year’s Eve, the one holiday you can choose to completely ignore, be with your family or not, dress up and party the night away, or not. Drink festive drinks, with or without alcohol. Stay up late and be there in that magical moment when it changes from this year to next year, or sleep through it and ignore it completely. Do whatever you want or don’t, tomorrow will be the first day of the new year no matter what you end up doing. My daughter will not be sleeping through it. She was awake for it a year ago at age 3, and today, she keeps asking if it’s new year’s eve yet. As she normally doesn’t get tired until late at night, I’m betting she’ll be awake pretty late this year, the one day of the year when there should be no bedtime, at least in my family. I will confess here that I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve. I love that I can get too dressed up and hang out being fancy with other people who might be wearing jeans. As a New Yorker, I’ve always loved being in this city for new year’s. As I’ve gotten older, the night has become less about party hopping and more about getting really as dressed up as I feel like it, and then miraculously not have to go outside, therefore being able to wear sleeveless dresses which are the most fun to wear anyway… because – we now simply have to go up two flights of stairs to the neighbor’s apartment for their awesomely fun, very casual and low key, kid friendly annual New Year’s Eve party of our wonderful penthouse neighbors! (That means friendly for my kid who is the only young child at the party but who loves to hang out with the neighbors’ now 20ish year old daughters and their friends who are very nice to her.)
So I’ll end on a high note and a few more gems of wisdom from my child. “Are you excited about New Year’s Eve,” I ask. “Yeah!” “Why?” Cause I’m going to the H’s house party! and I can play with L. and M. and their friends! There won’t be any kids there cause there weren’t last year.”. “You think you’ll have fun even if there arent’ any kids?” “Yes. I like playing with grownups. I mean W. and M.”
Ok. I have to ask her one more time, ” Tell me some of your favorite things.” “Barbies.” “Dinosaurs and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ more than cartoons.” Yes she likes that show. Thinking of you, C.