Give me my children over a NYE party anyday
PUBLISHED: 11:08 01 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:08 01 February 2016
Every New Year, it's the same. All the fun I never really had, I miss. All the fun I might never have, other people are having.
Remember your youth? It was a while ago. December 31 – a classic excuse to overdo it.
Drinking as a teenager, you stumble vomiting into New Year, with a renewed sense of guilt, shame and a lost earring.
As a young adult, the happiness factor changes annually, depending on how alternately heartbroken or love-struck you are.
If there’s an exciting new partner, you could have a fabulous mini break away with world-class Champagne.
Once you settle down a bit, you change. If you are pregnant, it’s a novelty. You won’t mind missing out on alcohol, gazing at your tummy in wonder, dreaming of magic ahead.
When your kids are too old for the honeymoon stage of motherhood – but too young to cope with late bed times - you may find yourself having the same sorts of envies you had in your teens.
You imagine everyone is at an epic party with all your favourite folk, top treats and best beverages. Nobody needs to worry about getting home. They are staying in this award-winning hotel with enviable interior design and the fluffiest pillows in history. The unrivalled hot tub is the most splendid luxurious hot tub you’ve never known.
There they all are – the rest of the world. And here’s you. In your kitchen. Winnie The Pooh nightie and Primark slippers. Bridget Jones is on. Again. Only coffee creams left in the Quality Street tub. Coffee creams? Someone is really out to get me tonight!
As you sip the last of the Baileys and ponder the televised fireworks to come, you don’t think you can face them alone. You might not actually be alone but your other half may be asleep, deep in a film you didn’t much fancy or out with his mates. Those friends he finds time to see because you are the mummy slave default parent.
I used to croon along to Dina Carroll’s Perfect Year and woefully lament my schoolboy crush. It’s ok – I was a schoolgirl then. “We don’t need a crowded ballroom, everything we need is here. If you’re with me, next year will be, the perfect year” - as I took another swig of Hooch and wiped away my Boots17 mascara.
It makes me smile now but occasionally I have New Year’s Eves where I am in danger of doing a grown up version of that. Or a not very grown up version, rather. I’ll go to bed. I’ll just have an early night. It’s only another day. I don’t really like bubbles anyway. There’ll be other times to celebrate.
We never really grow up. Back then I was searching for meaning. Trying to find love, hope and peace. Desperate to mean something to someone: to matter in a world of so many. To love and be loved.
Then I go in to kiss them at ten to ten, when my eyes are so knackered they can’t keep open and it may as well be any other day of the year. And then I realise… On all those other days of the year, what makes that moment extremely special is this thought: they are the most beautiful children ever and I am the luckiest mummy alive!
What’s the ticking of the clock? What’s the turning of the calendar? What’s the flicking over of another year? Time can momentarily stand still or time can roll right round. Nothing can change what is and everything can change what will be.
Am sure there will be many midnights when my children won’t be in my home. When they will be out having fun with their friends. Eventually, on overemotional meltdown, weeping over their own babies’ beds, watching fireworks on the telly.
I could go to as many parties as I could cram in but there won’t be anyone I love there as much as these three treasures. The world should be jealous that it’s not at my ‘party’.
So instead of Dina Carroll, I will do an Oasis and Be Here Now instead. (While we’re on the 1990s song references.)
Night night, my little ones. You are the best and I am the luckiest. Everything we need is here.