Again this year we let the children, minus the three-year-old, stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve. A little while before midnight we gathered 'round the television to watch the ball drop. Something we have talked about and apparently built up so that in their imaginations it exceeds anything that could ever exist in reality. Because every year after the ball drops, the newly initiated midnight reveler will ask, "Is that it?"
But the best reaction happened two years ago.
It is approaching midnight. We turn on the television to watch the ball; the mythical glorious Ball that they have heard so much about yet never seen.
The children watched with rapt anticipation.
We did the count down...10, 9, 8...
The ball fell and Rob and I shouted "Happy New Year"
The children looked at us, clearly underwhelmed by the entire experience.
"Is that it? Is that ALL that happens?" my 9-year-old asked.
"Well, yes that is it. It is now the new year!" I answered.
"That ball is so stupid. It would be way better if the ball fell down and then rolled down the street and people had to try and out run it, or else be crushed to death. That would be exciting."
Indeed it would be.
And I'd be willing to bet that Times Square would be much less crowded.
Happy New Year to everyone.