Oops. I tricked my daughter. Again. I secretly recorded our conversation on my phone, while I grilled her on what she knows about New Year’s Day. Here’s how my snooping went down …
Dad: What do people do during the New Year?
Daughter: What do people do during the New Year? (She thinks hard. And I’m thinking that she is method-acting). They celebrate for the New Year God has given them. Because some people can’t … maybe they won’t see the New Year.
Dad: What do you mean by saying, ‘some people can’t see the New Year’?
Daughter: Because some of them are dead … and others are in hospitals. And others are blind.
Note to self: I know where you’re wicked creative juices are heading, Joe Soap. Uh-uh. Bad idea. Don’t go there. Sensitivity is the word.
Daughter: Some have never seen smiles from their families.
Note to self: that seeing remark reminds me of the time, while praying at night before she hit the sack, baby girl made this resurrection petition. Dear God; to those who did not see today, please let them see tomorrow. Amen?
For starters …
Dad: How do you celebrate the New Year?
Daughter: You pray to God so that you can see the New Year.
Dad: How do you know it’s the New Year?
Daughter: The old year is in the past, while the New Year is in the present.
Note to self: Why didn’t I think about that? Seems pretty straightforward … and confusing.
Dad: So when does the New Year start?
Daughter: The next year.
Note to self: You think you are a Smart Aleck, eh?
And then, seeing my confused look, Smart Aleck elaborates …
Daughter: This is 2015, so the next year will be 2016. After the past year is … what is that word I’m looking for?
Dad: What date does the New Year start?
Daughter: First. First of January.
Dad: What about the second of January; is it still a New Year or not?
Daughter: It’s still a New Year.
Dad: Have you heard of New Year’s resolutions?
Daughter: Nope. What are those?
Dad: What do you think the word resolution means?
Daughter: It’s in the dictionary? Resolution. (She rolls the word on her tongue. Sounding it out. And I’m waiting for the howler.) It means, when there’s an election and you get to choose a new president.
I try not to laugh. I explain to baby girl, best as I can, what resolutions are. Looking at her face, I know that, after I am done, I will be bombarded with questions. As usual, her mind is working in overdrive. Before I am done, my daughter asks if an example of a resolution is when I said she would transfer to another school. (Which we already did, but that’s a happy-and-sad story for another Wednesday).
Dad: That was not a resolution. It was something we had to do. It was our responsibility.
The end …
Dad: You said that up until second January the year is still new. When does the year stop being a new year?
Daughter: December thirty-first.
Dad: So, this year is still a New Year?
Daughter: (She counts the months on her fingers). “The year stops being a new one in June.
Note to all New Year’s resolutions’ recidivists: ya’ll have six months to put your act together.
Dad: Why June?
Daughter: Because that is when we get used to the New Year.
Different strokes of midnight
Dad: What was your best New Year ever?
Daughter: Last year … no, not last year. The New Year before the last New Year.
Note to self: I know where she’s going with this. I have heard it before. It makes me feel like a complete jerk. Last year we were going through a separation. Which, looking back now, still hurts our baby girl.
Dad: Why was it your best?
Daughter: Because we got to celebrate the New Year together as a family. This time it will be great because we’ll all be together as a family.
Dad: During the night of the New Year, what do people do?
Daughter: They watch the TV to see from where the New Year will start. For example there’s a New Year that starts at Kasarani Stadium and another one starts at City Stadium.
Dad: Are these the same New Years or they are different?
Daughter: They’re different.
Note to self: _ _ _ _ _ _ (That’s my flatline).
Have a different New Year!