Kids are down, glory hallelujah.
House is quiet.
Tomorrow we'll put up the Christmas tree.
And I could be folding laundry or finishing off the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher or starting some food to take to a potluck but then again, I could just do this.
So here we are.
We got back on Tuesday evening from six days of travel. Most of the travel went extremely well, especially given my tendency towards carsickness these days. But there was no vomiting until the trip home when the poor seven-year old managed to throw up all over the bathroom in our hotel room. All over, people. I'm talking everywhere. As I stood there at 12:41 a.m. trying to decide what to do for him (the husband had very coolly cleaned up the path from the bed to the bathroom and then headed to the lobby in search of more towels and cleaning supplies) I shook my head at the craziness of it all and the thankfulness I felt that we were not in the car at this moment. Funny the things that you are thankful for.
But we made it home and we all said "Home sweet home" and the oldest declared it was the most he had ever loved his own bed. So home we are and home we'll stay for the holidays.
Given our current family climate, Christmas plans are simple this year. No need to max out on Christmas crafts. Holiday baking may be a thing for next year. And the decor will be kept to a twinkle-lit minimum. But the waiting, the themes of Advent that invite us to consider longing and hope and the urge for redemption, those feel fitting for me this year.
There's something very encouraging about the line from O Holy Night,
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
I may not be in a place to deck the halls and wow the kids with Christmas craftiness, but I can identify with a weary world rejoicing. I can acknowledge my weariness, and rejoice at the coming of Christ. That feels weighty; that feels doable.
So here we are.
Last night we went to dinner at our friends' house, a little neighborhood gathering that involved ten adults and twelve kids. The food was delicious and the kitchen was warm and we ate courses and desserts while the kids migrated from the basement to the bedrooms, caught up in games of Star Wars and Legos. It reminded me of Shauna Niequist's book, Bread and Wine, about how being at the table brings us into communion with each other and allows us to touch souls in a different way.
|Don't you just love that lettering? I swoon. (from Lindsay Letters)|
I know that quote won't resonate with everyone, that not everyone are table people or hosts or find deep satisfaction in the empty plates and the line of cups left when guests have gone home. And that's OK. Because the point is not for us all to connect at the table, the point is to connect at all.
Today we spent a quiet day at home, mostly hanging out in groups of two or three that shifted naturally every few hours. At the end of it all, the kids and husband were glowing and I felt peaceful and the house had taken on a lived in feel that was surprisingly warm instead of crazy. The kids went to bed easily, giggling at kisses and calling good nights and cracking jokes in the quiet of their rooms. It reminded me of something I heard my husband explain to one of our teens a long time ago, that kids spell love T-I-M-E. So true. There is no shortcut, no easy fix that can take the place of quality time together. And those slow days are really a gift, aren't they?
In closing, I'll offer up a sample of some quotable quotes from the last week.
Ella: (singing in the car) I wish that I could be like the cool kids...
Tessa: Ella, you are the cool kids!
Tessa (3!): When I grow up, I want to have a baby so I can lay on the couch a lot!
Isaac was walking around the house on Wednesday, crooning out his own rendition of Phillip Phillip's Gone, Gone, Gone. The lyrics to the bridge say "Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating..." Isaac, however, sings "Like a mom, baby, don't stop clean-ing!"
(Yep. For real. That one cracks me up.)
And on that note, happy Sunday and happy Advent and may your weary soul rejoice today.
Catch you later.