Monday, December 31, 2012

The good kind of New Year's party

Jacob hosted a New Year's party this evening. Okay, it was his mom's idea, but she served six young children formally at the dining table--with my best china that I had given her. Confession: I did not mean her to serve six-to-eight year olds, and at least one mom was heard to say, "You're not serving my two-year-old on good china." But Jordan did it up proud, with carrot and celery stick appetizer in tiny glass cylinders on small plates; mac and cheese, hot dog bites in crescent rolls, and meatballs, plus chocolate pudding in flutes with the rims studded with multicolor shot. Jacob was very proud and told me he was the boss of the party. But he nearly pigged out on the chocolate/banana bread I was trying to slice beforehand--it did not slice well, and he picked up a huge piece and said, "This is a crumb. I'm so hungry!"
Normally I don't go to New Year's Eve parties--it's home in pjs for me. But tonight I really enjoyed myself. While the children ate, the adults gathered in small groups in the kitchen and noshed on a bunch of things from cheese and fruit to veggies and hummus, drunken meatballs, spanikopita, all kinds of good things.
I stayed just long enough--about an hour and a half. Had some wine, nibbled, talked with various of these young people all of whom I've known for years. They are so kind and welcoming, and I'm flattered to be included in their gatherings. When it was time for me to head home, I got warm hugs from them, and I came away thinking, "Now I want to visit longer with this one and that." I had a good chat with Christian's sister who is in graduate school and has moved her husband and two girls into student housing--she says, "We live in the dorm." But I am so proud of her. One of Jordan's friends married a history teacher--high school--this past year, and I so enjoy talking to him but we get distracted. A group of us had an intense conversation about first-grade homework--wow!
I was barely in the door at home when the phone rang--Jordan checking to be sure I got safely home. I took back roads and figured it was too early for drunks to be out. Many of the people at Jordan's will spend the night there rather than brave the roads.
So now Sophie and I are settled in for the night. I wish for each of you a healthy and happy 2013. I don't know that there's anything more important than that. For our fragile planet, I have so many wishes--peace, an end to global warming, an increased guardianship of what the earth gives us, an end to senseless gun massacres, an end to bigotry and hatred. That's a tall order but maybe in 2013 we can take more baby steps toward that. I do believe we grow a little better each year, not worse, and I can only look forward with positive hope.
A P.S. I can't resist: Jacob said the other day, "I kind of wish we weren't having the party. I'd like some of that melty cheese Juju made last year." I'd forgotten that he spent New Year's Eve with me last year, and I fixed cheese fondue! I've promised to make it for our Twelfth Night Supper when we, following family tradition, each throw a twig of greens into the fireplace and make a wish. Do you know how hard it is to find someone with a live green tree these days?

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