My six year old son has lost four teeth in the last two weeks. When he grinned at me this evening, I asked him how he can chew! "Everyone asks that!" I was told.
The boys are happy, chattering, and in my four year old's case, constantly tumbling, climbing, jumping and moving...except when asleep or watching something stimulating on television, such as Scooby Doo.
The end of the year passed without much notice by me. I do not believe I have ever been to a New Year's Eve party. If so, I do not remember it. No waiting for the ball to drop. No saturnalia, music and booze. No midnight kiss. As a kid, we would stay up past midnight and listen to the Top 100 Countdown of the songs of the year, hosted by Casey Casem (who does the voice of Shaggy, incidentally, on Scooby Doo). My parents would usually go out, and we would get hyped up on caffeine and candy, blow up balloons, dance around. At some point, probably when I was twelve or thirteen, we turned to ritual (as humans do) and burned the previous year's calendar, month by month, reliving the appointments, holidays and birthday dates in a highly symbolic act. I speechified on the passing of time, emotion clogged in my throat.
Last night I was alone, watched a quirky movie (You and Me and Everybody Else), felt slightly annoyed at the guy in some other apartment who kept yelling profanities in a deep bellowing voice, then went to bed. I awoke long after midnight when I heard men talking outside my bedroom window, but thought little of it, thinking them denizens of the neighbor's party. Then, insistent knocking and pounding on the neighbor's back door. I went into the kitchen and saw a cop in the back yard stretching out yellow crime scene tape. Then heard another say, "we got her...Sarge, Sarge, we got her..." In front were about four police cars, one with flashing lights. The neighbor didn't seem to actually be there. The police were still there when I went back to bed and fell back to sleep. I have no idea what happened, but I haven't seen my neighbor all day. What a way to greet 2009.
I woke late and it still felt like 2008, but it didn't feel like Thursday. It felt like Saturday, except that I was alone, no kids. After the sun set I drove to Lawrence, worrying over the car, bills, my job, various relations. I put in a CD of Abbot Meletios Webber that I downloaded from the net in which he started to describe the nature of addiction, but forgot to continue listening to it after pumping gas, drove in silence.
My kids met me at the door. They never say hello. They always begin with whatever the big news is. Dylan rode his new bike today, and Jonah rode his (Dylan's old bike). Dylan lost two more teeth. Jonah created an outline of his hand, he "drawed it", of which he was proud.