Monday, January 7, 2008

Warming Up January Days

You know the saying:

Thirty days have September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31,
Except for January and February…

Which have 80.

Ah, winter. January is only a week old, and yet it feels like it’s been here for ages. How can a winter day drag on forever, but still be so short it’s dark before you get anything done? Just my luck. I’m always wishing for longer days, 8-day weeks, and 6-week months, but I’d prefer them to be of the warmer, brighter variety.

Oh well. Beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose. (Although I’m going to work on making my begging more specific.)

Still, it’s nice to get a new year underway, even if it does have the poor graces to begin with January.

We began our new year by going to a New Year’s Eve party at a dear friend’s house. Because we all take our kids, we celebrate the new year on New York City time, set off firecrackers in the snow at 10:00 pm, and go home to drop into bed. We’re such party animals.

Anyway, the party was a “dessert party,” so each family brought a sweet treat to snack on while we waited for the ball to drop (or the kids to explode, whichever came first). This was mostly a different group of friends than those who had the Christmas party in December, but the same two kids with food allergies were invited (my son and his best friend). So for the 24 hours before the party, I received phone calls asking, “Can I read you the ingredients label on this? I want to make sure what I’m bringing is safe.”

Again, I am overwhelmed by the generosity, caring, and consideration of friends. They don’t grumble. They don’t make a big issue out of it. They don’t ignore the allergies and bring a nut roll anyway. They thumb through recipes, ask about substitutions, and try out new combinations. They view it as a chance to experiment, rather than a cramp in their style. They can’t even imagine having a party where the two boys would be at risk. To them, it seems to be just a tangible way for them to express their friendship with us.

Now that I think about it, with friends like that, even January days seem warmer.

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