Love for the new year

By Mir
January 1, 2009

We picked up the kids bright and early yesterday morning, and as we drove hundreds of miles through the snow with them quietly playing in the back seat, I felt better. I don’t do well with them away for more than a couple of days. I miss them.

After a couple of hours, Monkey stretched and let out an enormous yawn. “You okay, buddy?” I asked, catching him mid-flex as his chest strained against the seat belt. I reached back and rubbed his leg, as I said it.

“Look at my BIG BOOBIES!” he responded, finished stretching but still jutting his chest out, and laughing.

“You don’t HAVE boobies,” Chickadee said, not even bothering to look up from her book.

I turned to Otto, who was rolling his eyes, and grinned. “Isn’t it GREAT to have the kids back?”

So we drove the day away, stopping to visit with some friends for lunch, and finally arriving at my dad and stepmom’s by dinnertime. The children ran around in circles and the cat tried to get into the house and the dog licked everyone and then we sat down to enough food for approximately forty people.

Later, we toasted the New Year at the stroke of midnight… in Rio. Which happened to be 10:00 here. Because we are old, and tired. And this trip has taken a lot out of us.

This morning my stepmom made me a cappuccino and even shook some cocoa on top of the frothy milk, which made me want to stay here forever and ever because it was so fancy. We sat there and sipped our coffee and talked about various teas we’ve been drinking lately, and suddenly my dad said he’d picked something up for me and had to go find it. He left the room and came back with a single tea bag, which he placed in front of me with great ceremony.

I looked at it.

“I think he’s trying to tell me something,” I said to my stepmom.

He claims he grabbed it for me because he knows I like herbal tea, but I dunno. My family’s not much for subtlety, you may have noticed.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I’m perfectly capable of failing to rise to my potential every single day of the year, already. But if I was going to try to set a goal for the next year, greater calmness wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

Also, everything’s better with a nice hot cup of tea. (Next to the wood stove at my parents’ house? All the better.)

Happy New Year and happy Love Thursday, everyone. May 2009 bring you exactly what you need.


  1. Crista

    Happy New Year, Mrs. Otto and family! Calm is good. I have no words of wisdom, but I have great hope for this year. And how fitting that the new year falls on Love Thursday. I like that! Seems like a good way to start the year :)

  2. Crista

    oh, and FIRST!!! woohoo, I’ve never been first! Yeah, its the small things in life that get me excited :)

  3. Megan

    I’m still trying to formulate my… not resolutions… goals? Ideas? Hopes? for the New Year. So far what I’ve got is, life. This year? I’m living. Happy New Year Mir and the Mir-folk – and hope that the calm comes with peace and a good helping of joy as well.

  4. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, I like Calm. I’m drinking Zen right now. Also very worthwhile.

  5. Kath

    Home = Calm.
    Happy New Year Love Thursday.

  6. Deborah P

    Calmness would be a great New Year’s resolution. I’ve picked a word to focus on in 2009 – renew. So many things need to be renewed in my life and that’s what I’m going to work on. I can’t wait!

    Happy New Year to you, Mir, Otto, Chickadee and Monkey and to all WCS readers. May it be a wonderful one in every way you wish it to be.

  7. exile on mom street

    Happy New Year to you and yours Mir.

    I too know how very, very good it feels to be home!

  8. Daisy

    Here’s to a calm, or at least calmer, year in 2009.

  9. Jamie AZ

    Happy New Year! I could use some of that tea and the idea of calm for 2009, too. I was telling our friends that last year – I just hope for a slower 2009, less busy, less parents having strokes (just 1 parent in 2008), less crazy-psycho-work that made me unable to enjoy the holiday season as much as I like to. How ’bout we work on it and report back in a a few months? I’m game for more calm. :)

  10. pam

    I use that same tea on nights when I find it hard to sleep. Great calmness to you this New Year Mir. And Happy…

  11. Barbara

    You happy makes me happy!

  12. Ani

    I just got some of that tea for myself, it sounded so good at the store.

    Happy calmness.

    My resolution this year is to be nicer to myself. For example, by not beating myself up for not keeping resolutions.


    Happy new year everyone, may it bring us all health and peace.

  13. Angella

    Right back at you, Mir. Hope this is your best year yet.

  14. Asianmommy

    I could use some calm, too. Happy 2009!

  15. Sharon

    Wishing you and your family all good things in 2009.

  16. jennielynn

    Calm is good, but pretty foreign these days. Mostly it’s just insane and loud. I like it that way, since it distracts me from grief and anxiety. Can you say avoidance?

  17. angela

    Wow that is awesome, what a loving dad! ;)

  18. pharmgirl

    Much love to your Dad for making large statements with little gestures.

    Why is it that older men & young children do that so well?

    Happy New Year!

  19. daysgoby

    Happiest of New years to you and yours, Mir.

  20. Jessica

    Happy new year from Maplewood, NJ! I love your website and stories. Say hi to L&L and Buddy too!

  21. Mom101

    Aw, happy happy to you too mama.

    And calm calm. Lots of it.

  22. Melodee

    Happy New Year! (Long-time reader, leaving my annual comment.) ;)

  23. ingrid

    :) fantastic. it reminds me of when my dad gave me the book “10 stupid things women do to mess up their lives.”


    what more can is say other than: have a wonderfillled new year.

  24. Brigitte

    Ha, Ingrid, you made me think of how angry I was in my youth when my mom gave antisocial, geeky ME “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I never did read the durned thing.

  25. margie

    sometimes i hate the fact that being able to know exactly where and what the kids are doing is the only thing that makes me feel better. (and my crew are big, old, in their twenties. oy vey. you have the same disease.

  26. Burgh Baby

    Happy New Year!

  27. Aimee

    Happy New Year! Calm is good. Wish I had some ;)

  28. ramblin red

    Hee….your daddy is a funny man. As is your Monkey, only a boy yet still.

  29. Walking In My Sleep

    Does your dad have teabags for all of us??? Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.

  30. Katie in MA

    I think laughing in the New Year – on Love Thursday – is about as good an omen as you can get!

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