It’s the week after Thanksgiving. 

Once again, our house is quiet.  The television is off.  Who schedules World Cup Soccer in Thanksgiving week.  I don’t care if Croatia is playing Iceland, I’ve had enough soccer for the year.

 The stove timer says 00:00 and it’s not cooking anything.  There’s no food on the kitchen counter, thawing out for later.  The refrigerator is full.  We’ll start throwing  leftovers away in a couple of days.  I never liked turkey much anyhow.

 I do have a pot of coffee within reach.

But, hours ago, it was chaos.  The good kind of chaos.  The chaos grandparents love.    It’s what we cherish.

We had our three sons and their families here for Thanksgiving.  The men, their wives and the children.  Oh, the children.  

Warning:  I’m a grandfather.  I talk about my granddaughters. I brag about them.  They  can do no wrong.  Even when they argue with one another, they are precious.  

For those of us who know, there’s nothing better than having your family home.  All the wayward feet are under one table.  It doesn’t matter if you’re using the best china and silverware or Dollar Tree plastic forks and paper plates, when they are all back home, it’s a time to give thanks.

The kids are trying to eat the pie first.  They want to make S’mores on the stovetop. They found Grandpa’s hidden candy.  It’s all OK.  Yes, they’ll get their vegetables later.  I think they serve well rounded meals at school.  There is no school today.  Grandpa’s pantry is open for the kids.

We have five grand-daughters.  They get together about three times a year.  Chaos.  We have a collection of 42 or 43 dolls.  We have princess dresses and little girl hats.  There is a pick-up truck load of girly toys and things that I’m not sure how we came to own.  Most all of it is pink.

Do you know how many colored pencils, magic markers and crayons one can own and still be considered sane?  Two of those girls are aspiring artists.  We buy art supplies by weight.  One hundred pounds of markers please.  A ton of heavy drawing paper if you got it.  It’s scattered hither and yon in that room right now.  

Did you know you can mix Legos, Lincoln Logs, and antique Tinker toys to build a doll house for a Barbie Doll?  I dare you to walk into the girl’s room.  You will find the lost Lego block, I promise.

The five girls were playing in the back yard.  It was right after sunset.  The air was still.  They were laughing, no not really laughing.  They giggled.

One minute they were loud.  The next, it would get very quiet.  I think they were trading secrets.  Girls do that I hear. I hope they’re not talking about boys yet.  I fear that will come later.  

Their voices, their laughs, their giggles, all together, is beautiful music for my ears. Music better than Mozart, Beethoven, The Eagles and Jimmy Buffet. I smiled. I wonder how long this is going to last.

The next morning, they went home.  Bags packed and loaded in the car.  Those last minute hugs and kisses on the forehead.  The tear in my eye watching the car moving towards the highway.

The end of chaos.  I miss it already.

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