“Should old acquaintance be forgot, aaand never brought to mind…” so the song goes, on New Year's Eve our thoughts may turn to old acquaintances or old friends, maybe old family members you haven’t connected with in some time. I have had a long-standing superstition (or compulsion as a friend calls it), that whomever you are with or talk with on New Year’s will be with you throughout the coming year.
New Year’s traditionally is one of those nights that people like to make a big ‘to do’ of. It commonly also disappoints, particularly in my experience. One year I planned a big party at our house only to find that half of our guests were sick and wouldn’t make it. Another year, we planned to go to a party but couldn’t find a sitter and ended up having to stay home. Years ago, we went to a friend’s party, walked home, and were verbally assaulted by some guys who wanted to pick a fight with my (then) boyfriend. I have learned in recent years I need to drastically lower my expectations in regard to New Year's Eve.
This year, we are going to dinner with my sister and her husband and another couple we are all good friends with. Yesterday my sister in Chicago called and said she is planning on driving down and going to dinner with us. I have had a contentious relationship with this sister, as sisters sometimes do. We had a falling out nearly 15 years ago, and our relationship hasn’t been the same, until only recently. Perhaps it was time just doing its thing, or maybe because I’m a mom now too. But this past year we have become close again, more like we were in my early twenties, when I might have called her one of my best friends. In recent years, I have been closer with my other sister who lives close by, and whose life more parallels my own. We all have never spent New Year’s together.
So the fact that we are all spending this celebration together is a big deal for me. We’re not going to a crazy party, we’re just going to be together. As we age, I think it’s becoming more and more important to hold onto each other. Siblings need each other. Dating back to when you were little, these people were there, and shared your experience good or bad.