At age 5. Staying up until 10:00 pm and falling asleep in front of the fireplace, magically waking up in my own bed.
At age 15. Drinking Sparkling Catawba juice (Mennonite Champagne) with my family. Saying good-night to the sleepy folks around 11:00, and wishing very much I had my driver's license.
At age 25. Going out with my wife of one year to Riverplace, downtown Minneapolis. Watching fireworks, listening to rock music, and experiencing the feeling of very un-Mennonite champagne dripping down my head.
At age 35. Staying awake all night … holding my months old son, so sleep-deprived I did not realize it was New Year's Eve, begging the boy to stop wailing and fall asleep so I could, too.
At age 45. Tonight. Three kids. Big TV. Five movies. A break from veganism and a dish of pre-cooked shrimp, AND an absolutely gorgeous wife. Score.
It might have taken me forty-five years to achieve New Year's Eve perfection, but it was worth the wait. Happy New Years All!