Saturday, December 18, 2010

But the House Had Been So Tidy

I never imagined I would be so happy to see such a monstrous mess filling the family home. At the foot of the stairs is a haphazard array of suitcases, handbags and various articles of clothing.
This means our daughter is home for the holidays.
She arrived in the early evening on Friday, and shortly thereafter the house was filled with familiar faces finally converging from far-flung places. At one moment, an assembly on the sofa represented four universities in three states. It’s a testament to enduring friendship that despite their separation they remain close and came together as quickly as they could.

Stories were swapped; laughter filled the air and celebratory treats piled up in the kitchen at a remarkable rate. The sound of their voices was like a sweet symphony to my wife and me as we not-so-discreetly listened from an adjacent room. The raconteurs nattered on into the night, learning of one another’s academic and social adventures. As college freshmen, it’s all new to them and this lent a sense of shared delight as the tales unfolded with steadily increasing mirth.
They clung to one another throughout the night, the familiarity of home and firm friendship no doubt soothing the lingering anxiety of freshman finals and myriad first semester stressors.
To a near observer, it seemed as though it was good to just be girls again…to eat cupcakes and cookies and to have no pressing concern beyond caloric intake.
They outlasted us by several hours, and we awoke to discover 18 and 19-year-old women laid out head-to-toe on sofas and beds. I guess they didn’t want the night to end.
Neither did we. It’s good to have them home. Happy Holidays, indeed.

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