"Leave her alone," my wife insisted, knowing she was with a group of girls about her age somewhere in the house, or in the vicinity!
Listen, our daughter is a freshman in high school. In four years, she'll be out of our house (not that I want it but she has her heart set on going away!) and who knows how long before she starts wanting to celebrate New Year's Eve with friends, somewhere other than with us. I'm clinging to those last few years we have and, so, is it out of the question that I would want her to be with us, as the clock strikes twelve?
"I see mama," she texted back from somewhere in the crowd. As I scanned the crowd like the Terminator scanning the landscape for the young John Connor (albeit without all the fancy computer data popping up in my viewfinder), I still couldn't see her. Before I knew it, the fireworks started going off. It was the new year! (We were at a party across from the Biltmore Hotel, which has a yearly fireworks display.)
|La familia; notice the wine, cigar and cell phone...|
In the midst of our celebration, pictures and selfies, I turned around and there she was; our lost sheep. We hugged and kissed her and took more pictures and selfies before I started calling my parents and brother on my cell.
Now, I'm sure for many, 2015 was a year of great loss, regrets and even some forgettable moments.
For the world, it was the year that ISIS became a household name; the bloody massacre in Paris that took the life of more than 130 people and injured another 350, the downing of a Russian plane, which killed over 220 souls on board, the indiscriminate slaughter and beheading of Christians, including children, in various Muslim countries and the escalation of the civil war in Syria, which left hundreds of thousands of innocent victims dead or displaced.
|Winston came to stay...|
Furthermore, my wife's Zumba business took off. She's become the fitness guru to a group of friends, which call themselves "The Mamitas." Her translation company had another successful year, as she worked for one of the GOP presidential candidates in his bid for the White House. And, to top it off, she started a Beach Body business as well. Now, that's not counting her day job or real estate business, which she put to the side this year, but what more can I say? My wife is an overachiever!
You already know about our eldest, but our younger daughter (and middle child) had a great year too. After recovering from a broken foot (she is the first ever to break a bone in our household) that she suffered while dancing, she recovered well enough to compete at Nationals in Orlando, where despite going up against much bigger schools, they ended up placing. She went on her 4th Grade trip to St. Augustine with Mom and earned First Honors at school in her first semester in 5th.
Therefore, as the new year brings hope of greater things to come for most, I can't help but remember 2015 fondly. It's going to take a lot to top it for us. Yet, hopefully, God will continue to bless our family with good health, lots of love and plenty of peace. In fact, maybe, the Mets will actually win the World Series! And, then, I'll be saying the same thing next year, as we celebrate with family, including our lost sheep (who will be one year closer to leaving home, yikes!) and great friends.
Cheers to 2016...