It’s quiet this morning. So quiet you can hear the dust fall and the dog hair settle on the carpet.
It’s Monday after Thanksgiving. The kids have packed up and gone back home. The parents, that’s my wife and I, sat in our chairs for two hours straight last night, just trying to catch our breath.
We didn’t even touch the remote. Someone left the TV on the Hallmark Channel. We binge watched.
I hear my refrigerator running. It should. It’s full of leftovers. A whole lot to refrigerate.
There are candy wrappers where the little girls played. Every towel in the house needs washing. A couple pieces of the good china are still outside. I will go get them in a minute or two. All the cookies are gone. There’s not a single paper plate in the house.
I found two spoons and a dirty fork under the bed. We had five little ones spending the night. The cap from a tube of toothpaste is gone. We need more toilet paper.
All their little dolls are stripped naked. Discarded doll clothing is everywhere. Who left the cinnamon roll in the closet?
There’s no telling what else we will find in the next week or two.
The garbage can is over-flowing. I forgot how many diapers a one year old goes through every day. And to think, we planned to use cloth diapers to save the environment. We lied to ourselves.
And, then we choked back the tears Sunday morning. The kids packed up the suitcases, stripped the bed linens, walked through the house, picking up and packing up. They are parents now. They are grown-ups. They have jobs waiting Monday Morning.
I hate that part of every visit. The part about having to leave and go home. Their home. What happened to our home?
We hugged the girls one last time and then another last time and then one more kiss as their Mom and Dad buckled them in the car. We hugged our own children, the grown-ups they’ve become. Wishing and hoping they have a safe drive home.
Then I remembered why we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner. We are thankful.
At the table Thursday, I prayed and said Thank you Lord. Thank you for my family. Thank you for these sons and daughters-in-law. Thank you for these grandchildren. Thank you for allowing us to get together. Thank you for all the blessings we enjoy. And, I asked Him to keep blessing us. That’s what I prayed for.
I thought about the Thanksgivings when I was a kid. We went to my Grandmother’s house. All the cousins were there. There were twelve of us. I was in the middle of the bunch, most older, a few younger. We had a lot of fun. Playing outside chasing each other, running through the house, being careful to not let the screen door slam. Eating a chunk of turkey or ham. Cranberry sauce. Sharing a slice of a home-baked cake or pecan pie.
I’m sure it got quiet on their Monday mornings also.
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