Yes, it’s true. I am a party girl, I love glitter, I love to dance, I love a good shot of tequila and I am one of those people who loves New Years Eve.
Growing up, my sister’s and I spent many a New Year’s Eve with our parents on some tropical island, in an overly decorated room, dancing wildly with all the other unsupervised kids to some crazy, local island band until the NYC ball dropped in Times Square.
This is what New Year’s Eve has always been for me, a mix of young and old celebrating life together with loud horn makers, little supervision, crazy music, lots and lots of decorations, lots of glitter and no bedtime rules.
I read that the Aspen Chamber was putting on a free New Years Eve party in Wagner Park with a D.J. (most important thing on my list), a snowman making contest and a huge bonfire and so we packed up and drove to Aspen to bring in the new year outside, arriving at 7:00pm wrapped in layers of down and cashmere to shield us from the bitter cold. All the parents carried backpacks filled with extra layers, a hot chocolate thermos and perhaps a flask or two of Baileys or Rumplemintz to pour into their own hot chocolate for good celebratory cheer.
It was an amazing event that could have handled a much larger group of people but we were happy that it was small enough for us to meet and mingle with the other hearty people that showed up. We welcomed the great music that the D.J. was spinning and the enormous bonfire that warmed up little cold fingers and toes.
The children gathered together and stayed connected to each other all night, like one giant amoeba, floating through the field. They are all getting so big and it was so much fun to watch them show off their interesting dance moves.
Tucker took my hand and pulled me to one of the boxes filled with scarves, hats, Crayola paints, pipes and nose, eye and button pegs for the snowman making contest. It was a great concept but next year they need to find a friendly donor to pay for a few truckloads of snow to be brought in from the high country so we have something to work with. “I can do this,” I thought to myself, struggling to create something out of the sugary snow along with the few other determined parents. Tucker wouldn’t listen to my pleas for him to fetch Daddy, who was far better suited for building something from nothing.
At one point Brevitt was stricken with an abominable thirst, the only thing that could ever bring him to leave his friends, and so we went to the Wild Fig for a glass of water. The restaurant was decorated to the hilt with silver and gold tassles of string and hundreds of red and silver balloons hanging from the ceiling and I had a flashback from my single, wealthier days.
People were in full force drinking on their personalities and there was no room for a mother and son to push our way in for a glass of water and so we walked back to the park, arm in arm, under the spell of Aspen Mountain looming over town. The park was in motion with parents, children and teenagers all dancing together under the twinkling stars and Brevitt and I felt compelled to run into the thick of it to absorb the incredible energy.
Michele arrived late in the game, engulfed in her shiny new, light blue, minus forty degree, extra down jacket. She was warm and ready to dance but it was time for us to join the other families and retreat to our warm, cozy homes. Brevitt and Axel were elated to be invited to join their friends for a massive boy sleepover and Wade and I gathered Tucker together for departure.
In an effort to hang on just a little longer to the moment, Michele and I started to dance wildly together, jumping up and down in the middle of the field that was now almost empty but soon Wade and Tucker had absolutely had enough and dragged me away. Reaching the other side of the field I looked back to see my little Michele still bopping away, all alone, to the music and it was all I could do not to run back and join her.
We got into the car moaning from our aching stiff bodies and drove home. I couldn’t escape the chill that had invaded my body and so Wade made a fire and Tucker and I sat in front of it chatting about the evening until I fell asleep. Wade woke me to bring me upstairs and slip me into our bed where he had placed a heated pillow for me to snuggle up to. He then placed my warm sleeping Tucker by my side and kissed us both goodnight. I thanked him for being such a wonderful father and husband and told him how much I loved him. We held each other in a long embrace and then he went downstairs to bring in the New Years with nothing but the television for a companion.
Warm and cozy in my bed, I couldn’t help but note how things had changed so much in our lives since our single days of going straight from the ski slopes to the old Little Nell bar, where The Ajax Tavern now stands, and ending up bringing in the new year, still in our ski boots, dancing at The Paragon. As wild and wonderful as those New Years Eve’s were, this was just as good, and I made a little prayer of thanks, to whomever might be listening, for my wonderful family and friends. I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep and woke up for the first time, in approximately twenty years, without a hangover on January 1st, and I felt marvelous.
Happy New Years everyone!!!
My rock and roll angel