Well, welcome to 2017. In some ways, it’s crazy to be here – 2017 already! I mean, I have a science-fiction book, The Door Into Summer, written in 1957, set in 1970, by Robert Heinlein, in which a man winds up in the far distant and surely fantastic future of 2000. Wherein they have cured the common cold and perfected cryogenics “cold sleep.” How far they thought we should have come by now. Heinlein was right about video calling and house-cleaning robots being commonplace in this time, though. (It’s a good light book, you should read it.) There was a point when 2017 was almost unthinkably far in the future and now it’s here.
But, in other ways, it’s just another year. The days keep marching on, one after another, and the laundry continues not to wash itself. The to-do list expands and shrinks, the weather follows the usual cycle, the pile of “books-to-be-read” is slowly converted into piles of “good enough to keep” and “books-to-rehome;” many things are the same as always.
Children, especially young ones, do tend to change rapidly, though. Which I was reminded of over the week between Christmas and New Years, since I went to visit two of my brothers and their families in the northeast. Much of my list of things to be Thankful for this Thursday reflects that trip and those bright moments caught from the fast-moving streams of their lives. I am Thankful:
- for safe travels (there and back again… I watched the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King while waiting for midnight on New Year’s Eve, which ends with dear Sam saying “Well, I’m back.”)
- that, miserable as colds are, I caught mine off the cutest little germ sharer ever – and when she asked me to cuddle up and read to her, you know I wasn’t turning that girl down, stuffy nose or no
- for the hilarity of watching my oldest nephew S’s contortions with the controller while playing their new MarioKart game – and the fun of playing against my brother, which I haven’t done in years 🙂
- for enjoying multiple rounds of Go Fish with S – and watching him beat his mother in the Minions Memory game they’d just gotten
- for a late-night snack of delicious grilled venison backstrap
- for the way my middle niece C’s face lights up when she gets to hold her favorite chicken (named Bunny, of course 🙂 )
- for phone calls and picture texts to loop in faraway grandparents
- for the grin my youngest niece K’s way of saying that perennial childhood orange pasta favorite induces (“mac mac chee!”) 😀 – and the cute little ham she turns into when she gets her hands on a cell phone
- for the joy of listening to my oldest niece E read aloud to her cousin (the same niece proceeded to beat me at Battle Ship a couple days later – it was a good game)
- for the fun of assembling a gingerbread house with E (pictured) – I was the icing glue applicator and opinion-giver and she was the candy applicator and design specialist (the blue and white pattern on the roof was her idea. She did the gingerbread men and the front yard all by herself.)
- for parents thoughtful enough to buy me blackout curtains (in a pretty demure blue) for Christmas, since the maintenance crew upgraded the street lights outside my room to bright LED bulbs
Mac’n’cheese and chickens named Bunny and childhood games will not last; time rolls on and the years turn and children grow. But I am glad I got to be a part of these things for a little while, to add a bright note at the end of my 2016.
I know there are a lot of things going on in the world and a lot happened this past year, on scales large and small; this is not intended to be a typical New Year’s post. For the past several years, I have rung in the New Year with paper and pen and ink, trying to wrap up the year with a nice bow – or at least provide a summary. Some years I’ve been more successful than others, but this is not that. This is just a little slice of happiness, a double-handful of things to be Thankful for, moments I’d like to remember as the days slip into years. Thanks for sharing them with me by reading – and welcome to 2017.