The presents have been unwrapped, the gifts put away, Christmas Eve and Sunday church services attended. Now it’s that magic week between Christmas and New Year’s with not so much craziness – and time to reflect.
I’m in Houston visiting my mom. Dad passed away almost two years ago, and it’s the first time we’ve all been together since. The house is full, and soon to be getting fuller when my youngest brother arrives with his family of 5. There’s a comfort in the familiar bickering, which never quite gets to the level of antagonism, just gentle reminders that we’re different people even though we did all grow up in the same household.
We’re a far flung family. My older son lives in Wisconsin. My younger son with me in Laguna Beach, California. Mom is in Houston, Joel and his family in Phoenix, Jon and his in Columbus. It’s not always easy to get together, but Dad’s absence reminds me that our time together is precious and fleeting. I hesitate even to write that last sentence, indicting me as it does with spending so much of my time this season in the solitary world of my laptop. Perhaps it’s time to stop writing for the moment and visit with the others in the kitchen.