New Year’s has never been my favourite holiday. It gets hyped up so much that you can’t help but feel disappointed when the countdown begins and your Prince Charming still hasn’t made an appearance (or, worse, has found a princess other than you). I long ago gave up expecting much out of New Year’s Eve, but my ‘prince’ and I thought we lucked out this year with one set of grandparents offering to take the girls for a sleepover with their cousins. Almost immediately we booked a table at our delicious local Thai restaurant, Bulai Thai. Not only does it serve authentic, mouth-watering Thai food, but the first time we ever ate there the owner, who obviously adores children, ended up dancing around the restaurant with our little munchkin, pointing out pictures and statues, plants and ceiling fans while we ate our dinner in peace. If it was a ploy to gain our loyalty, it totally worked. Excitedly, we dropped the kids off, dressed up, ate, came home, got changed into more comfortable clothes, and plonked ourselves down on the couch loaded with tea, coffee, dessert, and a movie. It might sound boring to some, but we were thrilled at the thought of being able to watch an entire movie without once having to get up to put a wandering child back to bed.
Now, we don’t have cable, so we don’t really see a lot of previews for movies. We ended up watching The First Grader, which is based on a true story about an 84 year old Kenyan who goes to primary school to learn how to read. Sounds innocent enough. But fast forward about half an hour and the poor man has a flash back to when he was forced to watch his wife and two small children die at the hands of the British. They wrenched the baby out of its mother’s arms and shot her in the head, and you can hear the baby screaming while the mother is shot, then its older sibling, and then the screams stop suddenly after the third bullet. I don’t know what happened next because I made my husband turn it off. I couldn’t watch any more, especially without my own babies at hand for a reassuring cuddle. I had a good cry, wondering at the cruelty of the human race and wishing it wasn’t too late to call my little ones just to hear their voices.
After I calmed down we managed to watch a few of our favourite shows, including the light-hearted sitcom Up All Night which is always good for a few laughs. When it ended we realized it was already past midnight, so we wished each other a Happy New Year, a little surprised that we’d actually been able to stay awake that late. I could end this post talking about how lucky we are that we live in a place where we don’t have to worry about soldiers coming and burning down our hut and shooting our family, which is true. But mostly I’m just amazed that, after all these years, New Year’s still has a way of ruining even the lowest of expectations.
Happy New Year; may it only improve from here.
Feel free to leave a comment describing your own New Year’s Eve letdown, or post it on your blog and leave a link so others can check it out 🙂