I am a creature of habit. Possibly too much so. I like my days to have a certain amount of routine and consistency. Do you know what the polar opposite of that is? Winter Break. Given the trip to India and our slow recovery, I purposefully left the two weeks of break wide open. I quickly realized my mistake: I'd left the two weeks of break wide open! What was I thinking?? Actually, the kids did well. We scheduled playdates, visited the science center, went to the movies. For the first time in my 8 1/2 years of being a parent, the children both slept in on a regular basis. When school is in session, I get up at 6:15 and start my day. I exercise, shower, and by the time the kids get up, the coffee maker is gurgling and I have a load of laundry churning in the washer. The sound of appliances hard at work fills me with efficient satisfaction. While sleeping in is glorious, no doubt, it leaves me anchorless and I spend the rest of the day playing catch-up. I could've continued to set my alarm, but it was hard to grasp that this late sleeping was for real. Every night I assumed it was a fluke and I'd go to bed expecting to be awakened around 7 AM. One morning we didn't wake up until 9:00. That's like, noon in parent time!
On New Year's Eve, we went to a hockey game. (Ritu and I are big hockey fans. In fact, our first offical date was a Michigan basketball game followed by a Michigan hockey game.) Every New Year's Eve, our local hockey team, the Winterhawks, plays a 5 PM game. Afterwards, there are player autographs and games for the kids out on the stadium concourse. At 9 PM, they show the ball dropping in Times Square on the jumbo-tron scoreboard and have a balloon drop there in the stadium. We went with another family who have children the same ages as ours. The Winterhawks played their biggest rival, the Seattle Thunderbirds. The Winterhawks scored three quick goals during the second period. With each goal, the crowd would erupt. Each time, Juliana would shove her plate of pizza at me to hold, jump up, cheer and dance, THEN turn to me and ask "What happened?" I fear she may be a candidate for a cult later in life.
During the third period, there was a brawl. An excellent brawl. Even our goalie skated the length of the ice to fight with the Seattle goalie. I'll admit, there I was, a few months shy of 40, on my feet cheering and singing along with the Beastie Boys song being blasted over the loudspeakers. You know, you DO have to fight for your right to party. All in all, it was a fun night and we were home by 9:45 PM. That's like, midnight in parent time!