These are what I know will be the last quiet moments of a wonderfully chaotic Christmas. It is late afternoon. The light has faded in this living room, dark now but for the giant angel-topped tree. The rain has come, and I hear it as it makes its impatient way through the long line of gutters edging the screen porch, rushing, rushing to be dumped, eventually, into the bed just below the loquat tree.
It is a surprise to find this solitude here, now. An unexpected combination of events—a car overdue for an oil change, another needing a new battery, various people needing various rides to various places—it all got very complicated very quickly and thank heavens I wasn’t called on to do anything but Be Right Here, quietly waiting for the refrigerator repair man.
(Doesn’t that always happen at the holidays, when the house is at its fullest?)
The kids are home, finally: Eliza, from her sophomore year at Clemson; Carson, from grad school in Atlanta (via a quick trip home to Kansas City); Alex, delivered late last night by USAir, his last Christmas break from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. And suddenly, just like that, you can feel the changed temper of the house. It’s as if the undercurrent of family pulses through the walls and the floors and the ceilings in a magical, wonderful way. There are wild, wandering stories; double-arm I-mean-it hugs; and laughter, lots and lots of laughter, deep and hearty and real.
And there are shoes. Lordy there are a lot of shoes.
What I know for sure is just how precious this time is. Just as she was a baby for merely an instant, just as those years in which he would do anything to make us laugh passed in the blink of an eye, just as overnight he grew into a man equal in stature to his remarkable intellect—these moments, this Christmas will be here only now.
And for this Mama, now is a beautiful gift.
Now is more than enough.
30 Days of Joy