When I was a kid I had this really weird thing for maybe 3-4 years where I would cry every New Year’s Eve. I’d be so bummed that the old year had gone and afraid that the next year would never be as good as the last. I’m sure it confused the hell out of my family, but I was an emotional weird little dude.
I’ve been trying to put together ideas for a Children’s book for a long while now (or any book, really), and while I have a TON of ideas, none of them have stuck.
Feeling inspired today, I wrote this poem this morning which tells a romanticized version of many combined memories of mine, all seen through the eyes of a young kid named Henry Darrow. It won’t be the last time I use him in my stories, but I feel like this is a good place as any to start.
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s weekend, and may 2017 be kind to you and yours.
The front door opened with a creak
Saw Grandma sitting on the steps
Henry Darrow, 7 years old
Came outside and took a seat
“Happy New Year, babe!” said she
With a loving laughter in her voice
Putting an arm around his shoulders
“And to you!” replied Henry
Silently they took in the scene
Christmas lights on some houses blinked
Sunset painted the melting clouds
A wintry purple, orange, and cerulean
Grandma chuckled and inside they went
The Christmas tree glowed just inside the door
Reminding him of just last week
Although there were no presents left
From the kitchen came laughs and light
As gathered family shared some tales
Henry’s uncles, aunts, his mom and dad
All the grown ups bunched up tight
A bit later, downstairs they all went
Fun parlor games, and snacks revealed
Henry got a turn to pretend during Charades
He was a dinosaur tromping the basement
From upstairs Grandpa shouted, “Well what do you know!”
And all trod up to join him there
Through the window past the glowing tree
They saw a lightly falling snow
Exchanging smiles and eyes lit up bright
All the grown ups put on coats and hats
Bundled Henry and in two cars they went
To see the neighborhood Christmas lights
Slowly coasting from street to street
“Silent Night” playing gently
Henry held his mom as they drove along
Taking in each festive scene
Christmas had come and gone by then
But the neighborhood must not have known
From nearly every house colored lights shone
Glowing through the snow that covered them
By the time they got back to Grandma’s house
Midnight was just minutes away!
Suddenly Henry felt very sad
The old year was almost gone, run out!
Onto his Grandma’s bed he fell
Remembering what a great year it was
All the fun and memories done!
Never to happen again, oh well!
Dad pulled him up and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Tears falling down both Henry’s cheeks
“The New Year’s coming and I just wish
that this last year wasn’t yet gone.”
From the doorway his Grandma laughed
A twinkle in her eye she had
Came and joined them on the bed
And in a gentle voice she said,
“Henry, it’s sad when things can’t stay
But new things are coming, aren’t they?
And that’s exciting, don’t you think?
A brand new start on New Year’s Day!”
He gave them both a great big hug
As they left the darkness of her room
Joining the huddled Darrow family
Counting down from Ten to One:
“Ten!” Climbing trees with his best friend
“Nine!” Kickball at recess, fun in class
“Eight!” Getting an A on his spelling test
“Seven!” Picking wild berries and eating them
“Six!” Raking leaves with Dad this Fall
“Five!” Reading books inside during summer rains
“Four!” Chasing his sister all around the house
“Three!” Watching movies snuggled up with Mom
“Two!” Birthday presents piled high
“One!” His baby brother being born
“Happy New Year!” shouted all
As Henry smiled through teary eyes
Grown ups sang “Auld Lang Syne” in collect
While Henry took in the moment
His Grandma smiled and gave him a wink
And in his heart, the New Year was perfect.