December 31st. I’m not sure who determined that this would be the final war of 2013, but, so it was decided. Child on the left, parents on the right. Battle lines drawn. We will not lose this fight. We will see the remaining remnants of holiday lights. “I want to stay home.” We will have a good time. “No!” Together. “M-o-o-o-o-o-m.” In the car. “Now!” We will drive aimlessly through the neighborhoods in a ritualistic attitude of wonder.
Tipsy drivers swerve past at breakneck speeds and angry party goers flash their brights into our rear view mirror each time we slow down to appreciate the classic candles at a colonial window or the garish fantasy bedecking a brittle winter lawn. “Did you see the manger?” “That’s not a rabbit, it’s Rudolf.” Undeterred, we will prevail against all outward foe and those from within our ranks, the slings and arrows from the back seat, the grumbling and the swearing, the whining and the “nip” “not” no’s”.
With dogged determination, my husband steers our mighty Subaru down another dark and unlikely path and lo, a miracle of white and turquoise icecycles emerges from the dark to delight our weary eyes. Oh yes, that was worth the trip. “Nip!” from our back seat connoisseur. Behold, a giant Santa! “Can we go home, now?” And on we go into the night, intrepid parents, fighting the good fight.