The is little light filtering into the dining room where I sit. The blinds are down. The heating system wheezes as it deals with the cold outside. The kitchen window is in my peripheral vision and all I see is gray. Strains of a sweet childish voice singing herself to sleep trickles down. A smile creeps into my face. I shake my head. I have walked up twice since the girls went down for a nap. I give up. If the door were to open and either girl walk down, it would not surprise me. I resign myself to an afternoon of more play, scattered toys and incessant demand for snacks.
Half hour later, there is silence only punctuated by the tapping of keys on the keyboard. The past ten days have been a revelation. Four of us closeted inside the house for most part. Two adults ‘trying’ to work and two kids having the run of the home. Hot meals, abundant TV time, cozying up on the sofa under throws, family movies, lots of reading. These have marked the holidays for us. We have stepped out more than we usually do. Library, frozen yogurt, eating out, temple and play area at the mall. Each year as this time rolls around, I tell myself the next year, I would just take a break. I would go somewhere with the kids. Yet, each year, we stay put. Moored to the house and the laughter within.
Even as the world around prepares to ring in the new year, I know mine will be spent in front of the TV, watching Justice Sonia Sotomayor count down to zero. It will involve a quick hug and whispered “Happy New Years!” before we retire to bed. It will involve waking up to the twins cuddling in bed with us and late breakfast. It will be yet another day. One filled with the sounds and sights of two children growing up before my eyes. Of karaoke and dancing to the radio. Of fruits and ice cream in the middle of the day.
I look forward to Thursday when peace will reign. And I can go back to waiting for the sounds of the garage opening in the late evening. This year will pass and so will next year. The theme in my head is now. About soaking up the everyday moments. About filing away inconsequential details so I can dip into them years from now. About enjoying the chaos even as I pull a long face. About looking around at the mess around me and walking on instead of picking up. About getting enlightened on love and happiness at 8:00 AM in the morning from a very profound four-year old.
Happy New Year folks. May 2014 bring happiness.