Monday, December 25, 2006

The Joy of Clutter

It's Christmas Day, late morning merging into noon. "E.T" is on the TV in the other room. Liz is downloading something on her laptop, sipping coffee and sprawling on the family room couch. Luke is setting up a vidoe monitor on Martha's computer so she can video conference. Isaac is sleeping in amdist the sounds of feet in the hall and muted conversations. Martha is wandering around picking up stray boxes, ribbons, and gifts.
There is a wonderful sound and smell of the kids (now clearly adults) home and interacting as brothers and sisters and children of parents in this brief holiday space. As we sat around the fire-place last night opening gifts I thought how strange it will be when one of them brings home the first "stranger" the first one who marries or gets engaged and brings an "outsider" into this intimate nest called the family of origin. It's a sweet privilege to have children who are willing to sacrifice their vacation time to come to a "new" home, since Santa Barbara is still relatively new to them.
And while we do enjoy the empty nest benefits of quietness, neatness, and order, the clutter right now is a wonderful clutter that reminds me what a gift family is.


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