As we watched the fireworks explode over the neighbors’ houses, my girls ran in and out the front door. They took turns dancing on the front porch and cheering while the other jumped up and down in the entryway to get warm. They collided in the middle and giggled, hugging each other and wishing one another, once again, a happy new year.
They were energized both by being able to stay up past midnight playing games with the family and by the palpable collective relief that hung in the air at the world having finally finished 2020 and all of its craziness.
I turned to Gideon who was perched on the edge of the couch near his mom. He was leaning onto the window sill with his face pressed up against the glass. Another sparkling explosion went off in the distance and he smiled.
“Gideon?” I asked. “Is there anything about 2020 that you are going to miss?”
His nose squeaked on the glass as he pushed himself backward onto the couch again. “Hmm…” he thought out loud. “No,” he said, finally, but then he seemed to reconsider. “Oh, actually, yes. Is the Corona, 2020? Because I’m really gonna miss the Corona…”
His mother and I just stared at him in shocked disbelief for a moment.
“What are you talking about, little man?” I laughed, shaking my head.
Seeing our reaction he quickly clarified, “I mean, the Corona means staying home, right?” He nestled himself deeper into his mom’s arm and watched his sisters as they continued running back and forth through the front doorway. “So, yeah. I’m going to miss just staying home all the time.”
We laughed, watching as another series of explosions rattled the railings of our front porch where our girls were now standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders. And I took my wife’s hand in mine and sat down next to her and the little boy who had now climbed back up onto the arm of the couch and was breathing onto the glass again. And everything seemed smaller and more delicate and much more fragile and much more valuable and I nodded to myself quietly as I understood what the boy was trying to say, and I agreed.