The youngest son is on his way from Montgomery to Atlanta to take a flight home to St. Louis.
The girls are finishing up projects and finals before school is out for winter break on Friday.
The husband has his choral symphony performance tomorrow night.
And I am sitting in my open floor plan townhouse wondering how I have these people with this much stuff.
We haven't even unpacked the red and green boxes with the ornaments yet. Nevermind about the tree.
To be fair, we sort of have a family rule that we don't do anything until after the December birthday is over. We are also super busy during the last sixty days of the year, so not having anything holiday up is fine with us.
What hasn't been so fine is that we literally had construction going on for about the entire month of October and into early November. I still haven't put the things back in the hall storage closet because my husband put the boxes in the basement, somewhere.
The holidays are here, Hannukah is over now. Christmas is less than ten days away. Kwanzaa is in a week. New Year's Day and my cousin's 50th birthday party is right around the corner. What is a mom to do?
Well, I inhaled, exhaled.
My son, literally on his flight home right now, just wants me to feed him when he gets here. I already cleaned and readied his bedroom.
The girls, well, the girls are a different story with their forever projects or class things going on, they can finish putting their clothes away when they get home from school day. They already think I am OCD about the house.
My husband, well, I moved his things to the closet since he never uses his downstairs office. He likes to be around the noise of the house.
That is what got me to thinking.
The kids won't necessarily care or remember if I have dusted every nook and cranny of the bookshelves and vacuumed the carpet to within an inch of its life. They won't care if all the recycle has been dropped off before the official last bell of this first semester. They won't even care if all the laundry is finished.
What my family will remember will be the laughter, the time together, and the warmth that I hope my home has created for them.
No, it is not showroom perfect. My living space is half what I am used to and even after all these years, it is still an adjustment. Even that is a gift because it has forced me to think about what we do and don't need, have given me some dream sessions at IKEA, and has made me think about what is really important.
The last finals will be completed, the choral symphony performance will happen, the weekend gatherings will take place. We will eventually get to the tree lot and that red and green box of ornaments will find its way to my sitting room for our Christmas Eve Eve tree trimming. We will light the Kinara on the first day of Kwanzaa and we will laugh.
The holidays are about so much more than the shopping we haven't done yet or the rush rush rush.
I am reminding myself as I look at the vacuum cleaner and hear the whirl of the dryer downstairs, to just pause, inhale, exhale, and be thankful that they will be here to celebrate.