We are quiet most nights. There is much that we need to say, but our words are too childish for the task. So our eyes meet and apologize, and we hope that just being together is enough. We hope a lot of other things, too. It is the day for arranging hopes into lists and resolutions and daydreams about a year from now. Even the trees are supplicant, stretching their naked branches to the clouds for covering until spring comes to relieve their shame.

We hope that our parents are proud of us. We hope that our siblings do more with their youth than we did. We hope that sorrow teaches us to love more, not less - to open our arms to all of life rather than follow the urge to bury our faces in our hands 'til it's all over. We have these big hopes and we have small ones, too: we hope that we will read all of the books on our lists, that the blue jeans won't be quite so snug someday, and that spring will come quickly to bring blossoms to the apricot tree and color to our father's cheeks.


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