It seems like the sentiments expressed at the end of every year sound pretty much the same. Thank God it's over, good fucking riddance, hope the next one's better, it couldn't be much worse. Much more rare is it to hear something to the effect of, wow, what a great year that was, I hope this next one is half as good. I haven't done any comprehensive research or anything, but from what I've seen, the emotions expressed over the passing of this latest 12 month go-round – the joy, the relief, the cautious optimism – were particularly strong everywhere I looked. From the sound of things, 2008 conducted itself in such a way as to suggest that it was putting its every last minute into becoming the archetypal shitty year.
Today we hosted a birthday party for our one year old son, Simon. His actual birthday was New Year's Eve day, which he spent mostly writhing in teething pain, the poor kid. We had some folks over, some family, some friends, and their kids. We let the little guy bury his face in some icing so as to make it look like he snorted a smurf. We got everybody nice and sugared up. We let the kids go wild on the playset that I busted ass all last week to get built. All in all, a nice way to spend an 80+ degree January afternoon. Somehow, the fact that we've actually now celebrated our New Year's Eve baby's birthday makes the old year feel truly past. Gladness.
The Ash and I closed out 07 by adding a new member to our family, which meant we spent 08 facing all the challenges that come with a new baby. On top of that, it's not like Henry just stopped needing us constantly, but his needs became much harder to meet now that that there was someone even more helpless than him under our roof. Overjoyed, overwhelmed, and overworked, that describes us pretty well. It was not an easy year for us. I dare say it's been the toughest one we've yet faced together. It wasn't all horrible, but it felt like even the good parts were difficult.
I'm glad we've made it to this point, and by this point I mean that I'm sitting on the couch next to my wife while both of our kids are nestled asleep in their beds. At this moment, things are easy. A lot of the aforementioned hard shit is still with us. That never goes away, that's just life. But there were moments over the past year that were unbelievably dark, ones that I wasn't sure we would see the other side of. And here we are. It's all too much to go into in one stupid post, and it's too late at night for me to expect my brain to hold out much longer. I'd just like to add mine to the chorus of voices bidding 08 goodbye, albeit belatedly, and welcoming 09 to the party. Let's hope you dance a bit more gracefully than your predecessor.