Bouncy European pop music reverberates up the stairs as my daughter practices her gymnastics floor routine for tomorrow’s competition. My senior son crams for finals, stopping upstairs for an ice cream malt and more pizza. Preschooler sleeps already in his tall bed, despite the noise, while my man plays games with two friends at the kitchen table.
I have missed you, my online community. Sorry for my two week hiatus. I am eager to scroll through my subscriptions from you, and to jump over to your sites to catch up on your lives.
|My sister, brother and I.|
While gone from you these last days, I savored an extended family week with my out-of-state brother, and then a second-honeymoon-style vacation away with my man.
I don’t know what your family visits look like, but ours include long talks over meals, family games of Rook, Speed Scrabble, cards, and the Mexican Train game; frequent walks outside into wooded areas or exploring new pathways; and laughter over my dad’s familiar and cherished stories. They smirk at my two worn-out jokes, which I find funnier than anyone --shaking in silent laughter before it even starts, gaining my composure, and then trying to finish the punch line without collapsing again. My parents, sister, brother and husband grin at each other and laugh at me, instead of the joke. Mom brings pumpkin pie, and unwraps bundle after bundle of food. Tiny niece prattles a mixture of French and English and chases after Daniel. Skinny, lean, rock-climbing brother sits quietly, smiling, taking in all the noise and bustle, and feeling a sense of home. We brew another pot of coffee, and pour mugs deep. He stirs in sugar and the half-in-half that Mom brought, trying to fatten him up slightly after his illness. We shuffle the cards and deal again.
At the end of the week, I hug him fiercely, this brother I see only once a year. “I am so proud of the man you are,” I whisper to him. “I love that you are a hard worker, that you are polite and kind and respectful of people, and that you are a man of integrity.” I hug him again tightly, not wanting to let him go. Kissing his cheek, I pull back, say good bye again, and let him walk down the driveway with my sister into the cold snowy night. Through the glass storm door, I see car doors slam, watch red brake lights flare on, and then hear tires crunch down snowy streets.
The next morning while the world slept, noble friends set alarms and crept from a warm bed to drive Mark and I to the airport for our week away.
I have missed you, friends, and am eager to peek back into your hearts and minds.
What do your family times look like? I love hearing from you. (Those in email can join the discussion here.)