On One of the Last Nights of the Year

It’s Thursday night in Santa Monica and I’m reclined on the couch, laptop propped on my knees, while I half-watch Bridget Jones’ Diary. I just put Vera down and Greg is out with a friend in West Hollywood.

We got back from a week in Ohio the night before last and, as usual, I have yet to unpack. We did, however, remove all signs of Christmas from the house today and I love how clean and sparse everything looks now. We had such a nice time in Norwalk with Greg’s family. He’s one of six kids and at this point there are now eight grandchildren under the age of 5 (two more on the way, making ten for next Christmas). The kids have a blast, taking over the basement and ripping through the dozens of toys bestowed upon them by their generous grandparents.

One of my favorite photos. Veronica with her cousins Julia & Sam astride their uncle Matt on Christmas Eve:

As for us adults? When we’re not chasing kids, we’re lounging around the living room reading People magazine and snacking on myriad little bowls of M&Ms or Rita’s chex mix. All in all, it’s impossible not to enjoy oneself. You can see way too many photos here.

The thing I was most struck by was that this was my 5th Christmas with the Boose family. A lot has happened in five years. My first Christmas in Norwalk there was only one grandchild, now there are almost ten. Books and weddings and babies and cross-country moves, all of it a whirlwind of time and movement and forward momentum. It’s own era, deftly created. I feel far away from the girl I was that last Christmas I spent alone before I met Greg, and that’s something very nice.

Right now I’m trying to pretend that I’m not utterly exhausted and ready to fall on my face, a trait I despise about pregnancy. Since we’ve been back, less than 48 hours, all three of us have been relishing the warm Southern California weather. It’s been in the mid-seventies this week and just feels heavenly after Ohio’s gray-sky days and 30 degree temperatures. Yesterday I took an hour and a half walk in the balmy afternoon with Vera, and today all three of us rode our bikes (V in a trailer) down to the beach to bask in the noontime sun.

While I’m starting to feel hefty and out of shape, almost 16 weeks into the pregnancy, I feel so much better when I can get out and about like this. When I was 16 weeks pregnant with Vera I was anxiously awaiting that terrible surgery, and entering the beginning of four months of winter in Chicago. I’m incredibly grateful to know that I’ll spend the majority of this pregnancy enjoying walks and bike rides and sunshine. Pregnancy tends to make me feel quite cumbersome and slightly depressed and staying active combats this in a big way — I just have to keep on myself to get out and about.

The last ten days have been wonderfully quiet around here, but I’m getting that anxious gnawing about the approaching Monday. January second will mark one month before my book is published and all signs point to life ramping up in a major way in the weeks just before the publishing date. I’m at once thrilled and a little scared. I’ve said this before, but it feels very much like pregnancy. This huge thing is about to happen in my life, but it’s something I’ve never before experienced and can’t quite imagine, and after months of waiting for it I’m impossibly impatient for it to begin, and also terrified.

Okay, well that’s about the best I can do tonight. I’m switching off Bridget Jones and toddling off to bed now. High school friends playdate situation in the morning here at my house followed by dinner tomorrow night with our 0ut-of-town friends Kate & Tarek at Picca. We’re staying in on New Years Eve but hosting a little open house party on New Years Day, replete with my mother’s infamous Hoppin’ John.

I have ambitious plans to type up an end-of-year post. Stand by, but don’t hold your breath.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Greg & Vera admiring their new cousin Hudson. A taste of what’s to come for us in June.




  • Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I love the pic of Greg, Vera and Hudson. Sort of a nativity scene with the baby very much the center of attention. Like Greg’s relaxed, comfortable and nurturing pose and Vera’s intense interest. I immediately went to look at a very similar picture only a few paces away of my daughter welcoming her younger sibling with a big smile and out-stretched arm.
    Your kids will fight and squabble, argue and shout sometimes driving you to distraction, and thereby forge a sibling relationship. Something you can only observe rather than experience.
    My advice, which I give far too frequently:- Don’t try to micro-manage their relationship. Don’t be sucked in as referee. Ignore the noise and save the furniture. Love wins in the end.

  • Carroll
    Posted December 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    “Ignore the noise, and save the furniture” Paul, that is just about the most profound parenting advice I can imagine. To this day, when both “boys” are in our house at the same time, the furniture is in peril — not to mention their various body parts, pictures on the wall, and occasionally even the drywall itself.

    I love every crazy chaotic minute of it.

    Really glad you had such a nice holiday vacation, Claire — the calm before the storm. And then the whirlwind of the book thing will carry you right through until Vera’s sibling arrives. Whoever first noticed how “time flies” sure got *that* right!

    Buckle up, Kiddo 🙂

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