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01/01/2007 - 9:02 a.m.

THE PERFECT NEW YEAR'S EVE

The quest is over. I think I found the perfect New Year's Eve—and I wasn't even looking for it. I gave up looking for the perfect New Year's Eve years ago. I think I gave it up sometime before the girls decided that one should bring in the New Year by banging pots and pans. If not, that did it. But they forgot that ritual last night and we had a lovely night.

It was just all of us last night: FogieKnight, Kat, Day, and me. I am well aware that that configuration's days are numbered. Kat is already off and college and Day may go off to college in the fall as she is looking at an early college and we have said that she may go if she can get herself in. There are steady boyfriends out there, at least for Kat.

The evening started somewhere around eight o'clock. Day finally got that big pile of homework that the teachers had buried her in done then. The beds were bunked in Day's room too (and that was a fun project with all of us helping.) Kat claimed to be packed up enough to just throw things together today before I take her back to school this afternoon. FogieKnight had finished his phone call to his father.

We began by eating the giant cookie. Day had requested a giant cookie for the New Year but I had not found one so she and I were going to bake. (I know I'm into family when I agree to bake with her. She likes to bake but I do not like it much most of the time. I think she has the wrong mother.) We went to the grocery store, the last remaining one, the one that I loathe, and nearly got nothing. We went in circles looking for a parking spot. It's always bad there but this was the worst I had ever seen. Eventually, we got in and there it was. A giant cookie to gladden Day's heart (or her sweet tooth or both)!

Next, we went to watching "Shanghai Noon" which the girls had picked out. They had gone to the movie rental place yesterday while FogieKnight and I were out at a restaurant for our 22nd wedding anniversary. They are not on his card but, with Kat's driver's license (hooray for unusual last names) and the girls assuring them that they could call him but he was celebrating his anniversary and would prefer not to know they existed, the salesperson let them have the movie. The movie was nothing great but it was fun and we all enjoyed it.

Finally, we pulled off the surprise. The girls have been raving about the fun of playing Scattergories for weeks, ever since they played it at a friend's dorm at the beginning of December. Day has talked about buying it. Kat has talked about the fun of it and how she hopes someone she spends time with would get it. (Can you tell which one is more careful with money?) And so, FogieKnight and I got it on Saturday and left it in the trunk.

When the time came, we brought it into the kitchen and made the girls come out to a totally dark kitchen. FogieKnight walked around the corner and said "boo," which I was not expecting and which Day was really, really, really not expecting but at least he startled the child who likes to be startled. Once Day was up off the floor and recovered, we turned on the lights---and the girls jumped up and down as though they were little and we had a group hug and it was wonderful.

I hope your New Year's Eve was as nice and that you have a happy and healthy new year.

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