Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brat Be Gone!

My hormones were jockeying for position on the last day of 2010 awakening the inner brat in me. I felt the chemical imbalance slowly toppling my self-control like wooden Jenga pieces crashing chaotically to the floor. My inner brat was sullen and sulky, stomping her feet with arms crossed in defiance. I didn't want to stay home on New Year's Eve. I wanted to be out on the streets of Los Angeles on the intersection of Hollywood and Vine dancing to the music played by the bands and DJs heralding the new year. (I didn't say my inner brat was wise, mature, and rational.) I knew my vitriolic tirade on how I longed to celebrate New Year's eve outdoors (the way I used to) wasn't received warmly by Ray; yet I didn't stop the trajectory of venomous words spewing from my inner brat's mouth. Ray wasn't barricading me from New Year's eve revelries, in fact, he gave me the choice to do exactly what I wanted. 

Although my inner brat took center stage, the rational part of me knew I couldn't leave Ray alone on New Year's eve. Surprisingly, my heart isn't blackened and charred as an over-barbecued beef rib as I had believed. How could I party in L.A. when my boyfriend chose to stay at home with his terminally ill mom, taking full advantage of the time he knows is fleeting? The fact that Ray didn't wring my neck in frustration unraveled my brain. With controlled patience he told me, "You can do what you want but what are your priorities? I've been a DJ for over twenty years and I know what's out there. I don't know how much time I have left with my mom." Okay ouch. I wish I could say that a beam of light parted the heavens, targeted my inner brat who exploded into millions of cosmic particles, never to be seen again until the next millennium. Instead, I called time out on her...until eternity. I chose to do the right thing and stayed home with Ray and his mom, grateful for our time together.

As an added bonus for my wise choice I became the default babysitter for my granddaughter Rylee whose birthday falls on January 1. (You can read her birthday blog here.) It was up to Gramma Nette to carry on the tradition from last year-allowing her to stay up 'til midnight synchronizing the advent of her birthday with the birth of the new year. Just before midnight we uncovered her birthday cupcake and presented it to Rylee. I couldn't discern which was sweeter--the delight frosting her face or the icing on the cupcake.

Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve was on the television and Rylee stopped to sing along with Train. "Hey Soul Sister aint that mister mister..." She upstaged me by singing the words while I pretended to know them. 

With undisguised envy I watched Rylee forgo the social etiquette we instilled in her young life as she tried to fit the entire cupcake in her mouth. 
As 2010 waned, making room for new promises and in my case, new lessons, I realized Ray was...was...r...ri...right. New Year's eve didn't have to be filled with mindless revelry and dancing on the streets. It was the moment when my two big cupcake heads battled for the sweet prize that I wished I had the power to suspend time for one full minute. Sixty seconds purloined from Father Time that I could savor and hoard in the deep bowels of my memory. 
When 2011 announced its arrival my heart was awash in gratitude for the just turned three-year-old granddaughter reclining on my lap and the man who loves me with infinite patience and tolerance. This face, a face of purity, naivete,  and uninhibited candor, will serve as a blatant reminder that Gramma Nette needs to shut down her inner brat. For good!