These days. These twelve Christmas days.
We open presents and eat sausage for breakfast after Liturgy. Nana and Papa arrive. We open more presents. Little M gets not one, but three dolls, and keeps them in her sight or arms at all times. The boys spend hours assembling their Lego gifts then bring their Lego collection (it's considerable) down to the dining room and build more. We step on Legos wherever we go.
The wind howls and moans through the crack under the back door. I can hear it all the way in the living room. It snows. It's cold. I order snow boots, my first pair in 30 years. It snows again. UPS can't deliver my boots because of the snow, and they arrive a day late. When I wake up in the morning, there are bald patches on the driveway where the wind has scoured the snow away. I watch people walk by my window, heads bowed and hands in pockets. We wrap ourselves in blankets and huddle on the couch.
We celebrate New Year's Eve at party. We cut the Vasilopita after Liturgy and Nana gets the coin for the third year in a row. M convinces Papa to take him fishing. They have to break the ice on the lake and come home empty handed. Nana blows out the candles on her birthday cake. She and Papa leave early the next morning.
Fr. G sits across from me in his chair in the evenings and reads a few pages of War and Peace. "It's a new year," he explains. I sew sequin after sequin onto the tree skirt I'm making. I knit a few rows of the socks for my mother. We talk about the house. Could it be ours? (It needs so much work. We can make it our own.) How long will we be here? We talk about our furniture. (We need more seating. Sectional? Loveseat?)
Z sews herself a periwinkle poplin dress. It fits me, too. It has darts and gathers and top stitching; she made the whole thing with very little input from me. We're both so proud. I dig through my fabric and decide to make two skirts for myself. Later.
My poinsettias drop all their leaves. Too much water? Not enough? But my Christmas cactus (or is it a Thanksgiving cactus?) has new buds. I'm the only one who's excited.
I write out assignments for our first week back at school. After calling the insurance company, I find a dentist and make appointments for the kids. It feels like a really grown up thing to do. I rethink and reorganize everything, except that cabinet full of art supplies, but I do make daily and weekly checklists. I especially love the one from Homesong. New Year's resolutions include "finding rhythm and balance." My word this year is "integrity," and I pick the second definition, the one about being whole and undivided.
Our new house is mostly windows interrupted by a few walls, so different from the last one. I watch the blue morning light move from the front of the house until it streams through the back bathroom window, changing to gold. It reminds me of this poem, a favorite.
Tomorrow, Theophany, signals the end of our days of blissful nothing, and on Monday, we're back to our rhythm again.