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August 6, 2012 / Andee Frizzell

At The Stroke of Midnight….

My mom has a theory about New Years Eve. She believes whatever you are doing at midnight, you’ll be doing for the whole next year.

My mom was a pediatric nurse for fifteen years. During this time she was in charge of caring for what she described only as the ‘water babies’. A water baby was an infant that’s brain hadn’t developed while in the womb and their little heads were filled with fluid. The brain stem had grown so the tiny body was animated but there was no processing center to translate, store or sort the information the wee body was receiving. The life expectancy of a water baby was only about two years.

My mom was working one New Years Eve and she was on feeding duty. She was struggling with one particularly challenging water baby, who had just toppled the feeding tray and covered her in sticky, orange colored purée, when the other attending nurse poked her head into the room and said it was ten minutes till the New Year. She urged my mom to hurry up for if the clock struck midnight while she was still feeding that troublesome tot, she’d be doing it for the rest of the year. My mom told her co-worker to stop telling old wives tales and get something to wipe up “this shit”.

But the prophecy had come to fruition; my mom took care of that baby for the whole next year. The scene was repeated again the following New Years Eve and again, my mom fed that little one for another year. By this time, that little squirt had already beaten the odds. He was three.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, my mom would feed that baby every New Years Eve. And that went on for three more years. She admitted that some years, she would creep into his room and wake him up just to feed him at midnight. She was now a believer.

She told me this tale when I was about fourteen and each approaching New Year since I’ve tried to ensure I was doing something I wanted to be doing for the next year.

One New Years, three drag queens, my roommates at the time, asked me to drive them to different events that they were hostessing. At the moment of midnight, we were in the car between gigs, navigating a Toyota Corolla in an Albertan whiteout blizzard that had crippled the city. The following year, I was abroad for the whole year and never settled down for more than two months at a time. I was struggling to see where my career was headed and I was surrounded by people who appeared one way but were completely different underneath it all.

This past New Years, I was at my parents place. They live in a rural community (not even big enough to be called a village) in the far northern tundra of Canada. I detest cold even more than I hate camping so while visiting my parents, I wear full body thermals (two piece long underwear known as long john’s) under fleece PJ’s, wrapped in a sleeping bag while donning a toque (woolen cap) and mitts. This is my indoor attire; I never step more than a foot away from the wood burning stove.

As we counted down the New Year, mom’s neighbors started shooting off hunting rifles in lieu of fireworks. Not aware of the custom, I heard gunshots and hit the deck, tripped on the sleeping bag strings and sent myself tumbling headfirst towards the roaring fire.

Luckily, my skidoo mitts had hand grip pads and I was able to hold onto my beer as I veered left to avoid the flames and set myself on a direct collision course with the Christmas tree which was able to break my fall.

This is going to be a very interesting year.

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2 Comments

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  1. Chris / Sep 19 2012 7:01 pm

    I haven’t heard that before, about whatever you do at New Years you’ll do for the rest of the year.
    I’m glad you weren’t hurt in the fall, and lol that would make way for a really interesting year :p

    • Andee / Sep 19 2012 10:00 pm

      Chris!! Thx so much for reading and posting on my blog!! I appreciate the feedback and your sharing a personal story! Wasps really are a buzz kill! Lol thx again for the support! You rock!

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