Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thoughts from Bedford Falls

My kids are home from college.
It’s been snowing (politely) for two days and the yard looks like the Christmas card on my desk. I’m baking cookies, wrapping presents, listening to the Rat Pack, telling everyone not to look in the dining room. If I were a movie, I’d turn me off and say “Oh, please.”

And speaking of movies…
We’ve already watched the home movies and made fun of my wide, 80’s hair and my husband’s clothes. Watched three times, the birthday party at which my daughter answered every question asked of her with the word, “two.” Moved on to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Same daughter: “I don’t know. I’d still be pissed about that $8000.”)

The kids decorated the tree last night while we stayed out of the way and eavesdropped. The easy banter they share – the kind one only shares with co-stars from the same home movies - made me laugh until I didn’t think my face would change back.

My sons stayed up until an ungodly hour doing the nothing in particular you do when people you've missed are in the same room.

This morning I had eggs, toast and coffee with my daughter without planning it in advance. I like it that now, if one of us uses a swear word in conversation the other one doesn’t flinch. We say, “I know. Seriously,” a lot.

I’ll wander around the house today, look out the window and wrap things. Later, I’ll see the rest of my family at an annual party.

This year, I have taken the things I’m worried about, dreading, regretting, fearful of, and scooped them like crumbs on the counter top into December 27. This year, between the financial and the professional, I will have a full day on December 27.

But for the week that is before me, the days that are within view, I am going to look hard at my personal fortune, memorize it, marinate in it. In a year, I won’t remember December 27. But if I’m doing this right, I will remember December 20, and a week that followed when the beauty was allowed in where it’s warm.

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