It is the end of the year and so my husband is able to get to work an hour late to compensate, somehow, for the late nights spent sitting in his cubicle until after midnight. The fun and games of being married to an accountant during this time of the year, the worry and panic involved in hoping for an uneventful commute as your husband rings in 2014 on the freeway passing through Fort Lauderdale in an attempt to get home, stories of drunken deaths and senseless partying on what feels like every local news channel. Something about scare tactics and holidays and people who drastically underestimate my neurosis on a regular basis, let alone when it's dark and I'm tired and the house feels eerily quiet and I just want my husband to be home sometime before Ethan wakes up in the morning. I haven't considered New Years Eve a holiday since my husband began working. I am most definitely the Grinch of New Years.
The end of December, the days following Christmas, are long and messy and chaotic and crazy. I roll out of bed in my pajamas and Ethan leads the way to Tot School where I sit on a stool and watch him color so intently, churning out a minimum of four masterpieces before requesting breakfast. My husband always smells clean like shower gel and freshly laundered clothes, crisp work shirts and a belt and shiny shoes and I realize I will probably be spending the duration of my day in the leggings I decided were pajamas and slept in. My husband reminds me I had the opportunity to shower but I chose that extra hour of sleep because I don't think I could have survived the day if I made a different choice. And, well, I could have showered the night before but I didn't think I could possibly stay awake even a second longer. I stand behind my logic and decisions until it's noon and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realize my hair has actually reached the point of being terrifying. This is, of course, the recipe for running into everyone you know everywhere you go.
I am ready for 2014 to be here, for the clean slate of a fresh new year. For not having to be the bad guy who gets to respond to a two and a half year old's insisting that "daddy makes night night with Ethan, not mommy. Mommy, do you see daddy? I don't see him." I am ready for peace and order and a refrigerator with groceries and a dinner that doesn't consist of Back to Nature whole wheat crackers with peanut butter. These last few days of December are always a break from the routine we spent the entire year developing. I become a walking example of what all of my childless friends fear they will one day become if they have children. The end of December always makes me realize that I'm kidding myself when I commend myself on spontaneity and the ability to improvise because I'm a basketcase scrawling notes and reminders on torn-up sheets of scrap paper and having to reschedule Ethan's haircut appointment twice because I can't get my act together. "Someone needs a haircut," my mom says, running her fingers through the wavy mullet that sits atop Ethan's head. Cringe. I'm ready for 2014, if not a little desperate.