Innocent Expectations

1 Jan

High expectations have added drama to quite a few important dates for me. I’m guilty of letting my hopes get in the way of fun.

I wanted certain things to happen on certain special days and they didn’t. I wanted romance and wooing but instead ended up resentful and woeful or alone due to job responsibilities. I plan huge parties to mark annual celebrations, stressing over details like napkins and cheap party favors. I didn’t want to have to do the dishes on my birthday but I do. I love Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up about this. It always makes me stop and think about how my expectations explode what still could (and should) be a good time.

Now though, I have something sweeter to think about to change my perspective – how easy and lovely it is for children to enjoy themselves without weeks of planning, perfect decorations or an extravagant menu. All they need is a few minutes banging pots and pans.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

The kids showed such pure joy by getting to stay up until midnight and go outside to welcome 2013 with a cacophony of spoons on metal. They giggled and giggled. They thought it was wild fun and then it was over and they were off to bed with prayers and a warning of bedroom separation if sleep didn’t happen quickly and quietly. A few more laughs leaked out from behind the closed door and that was it. One of them didn’t even stay awake through the countdown and I know she won’t be disappointed about that – not like I would be now. “Can’t believe I slept through the New Year …”

Sleepy Celebrator

Sleepy Celebrator

I suppose it was that easy for many of us when we were little. Before the dreams of a trip to the Big Apple to watch the ball drop in person or the fairy tale idea we got from the movies where two people fall in love as the confetti falls and the Auld Lang Syne starts. This New Year I got a glimpse back and it was rejuvenating. I will carry it with me through the days of the new calendar – and for next year’s party planning.

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