Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The New Year Begins
Christmas is over already; the new year begins. It's cold finally. On Christmas Day we turned the air-conditioning on so we could turn on the fire place and wear warm fuzzy socks, in spite of the heat. It was 75 that day.
This evening sings of where our family is now. Duncan (15) and Laurel (18) are in the kitchen listening to Spotify (Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors right now). Laurel has bargained with Duncan that she'll make brownies if he unloads the dishwasher and puts the dirty dishes in. I hear murmurs from them every now and then, but they mostly work in companionable silence.
I've just returned from delivering a meal to my parents and visiting with them for an hour or so. Randy is still at his mom's. He's taken a meal and a bag of groceries to her. It's just where we are in our lives. Not too long ago, our evenings were devoted to reading to our three, giving baths, playing games, and doing the nightly toy pick up.
I'm OK with where we are now. Sometimes it's hard, like I know it will be in a few more days when Laurel heads back to college. I cry every time I see that little green VW bug pull out of the driveway to head back to Nashville.
But nights like tonight, I can bask in the sounds of brownie batter being stirred and dishes being rinsed. I can enjoy the last days of the Christmas tree, which normally would be taken down by now. (How can I resist her, "Can't you just leave it up for a few more days until I go back to college?") If I let myself think about it really hard, I could miss the smell of freshly washed little boy. I could miss a little girl in a green flannel nightie snuggled up next to me. I could miss my curly-haired eldest, sprawled out by the fireplace, reading.
It's a new year, a moving more solidly into the phase of young adult children who have their own lives. It's another year that I am tremendously grateful that I can visit my parents every day.
Brownies are baking. Everyone joins me in the living room. We're all on our devices—laptops, phones, PS4—and we call out to one another now and then. The dog curls beside us, in utter bliss that we are all here together. Me too, pup. Me too. It's a good place to be.