Since at least 1993, John and I have been ringing in the New Year with our friends Angie and Brian with few exceptions. Our celebrations have run the gamut, from attending a ritzy banquet at a hotel to me going to bed at 11:00 with the flu. No matter the venue, the night together always started the New Year right.
This year we continued the tradition, only Brian was not physically a part of it. Brian lost his battle with cancer on March 17, 2009. The holidays hit his wife, children, family and friends hard drawing more attention to the void because of the special time of year and the traditions that will never be the same.
Although not physically there, Brian's influence was all around. From the bonfire and cigars to the heated games of Euchre to the stories and laughter, it was a night that I think Brian would have enjoyed immensely. I even stayed up until after 1:00 rather than the 12:02 I am famous for.
Angie and Brian's boys, our boys, and Angie's sister's son spent the day climbing hay stacks, traversing fallen tree jungle gyms, riding four wheelers, and playing DS and Wii. They even found an old (or new - who knows?) pair of underwear in a broke down pickup truck, and if you know boys you know that was a hilarious find that made the day.
By nightfall, the adults were exhausted and declared kid new year at 9:30. After about one minute of horn blowing, stick clacking, yelling, and drinking sparkling grape juice outside in the cold, the kids unanimously declared kid new year boring, loud and cold. That is all but Luke who fell asleep at 8:30 and missed the whole thing though we tried to wake him many times. Jack was especially sad he did not get to wish Happy New Year with his brother at his side, but quickly forgot this sadness the next morning bright and early when the New Year kicked in with a bang and the boys started their traditional brotherly bickering.
And I'm happy to report that the New Year has not diminished my boys' effect on the ladies. Angie's adorable niece had them smitten. I asked Luke if he likes babies and he said, "You mean hot babies?" I asked him what a hot baby was. He replied, "You know - hot chicks." I said I didn't mean hot babies. I meant real babies. With diapers and drool. He said, "I'll stick with the other." I guess I don't blame him. He changed his tune though when she started dancing to the music from his MP3 and saying his name.
Jack liked her right away and informed me that, "I am going to make her fall in love with me so she becomes my slave." To this I laughed and he said, "What? That works on babies." To which I replied, "And on women." I am proof enough of that.
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