For almost two weeks, the rhythm of our house has been totally different. Instead of waking up to just me and a dark house, I wake to early-rising nieces and nephews and their daddy who’s probably making coffee. We watch the sky turn orange together. My little boys don’t ever wake up grumpy, because the minute their feet hit the floor, they’re scurrying to set up a train track with their favorite friends. Instead of trying to decide how to sit four people at our long harvest table without feeling kind of silly, there’s a bench filled to overflowing with little bodies, and extra chairs besides. There’s a conversation to be had every night, whether it’s house projects, theology, or football. Our Advent calendar readings are shared, and Christmas cookies with Charlie Brown was a party this year. We’ve managed to do Thanksgiving, another houseguest, nights of special meetings at church, and a busy Christmas musical weekend, not to mentioned the usual events of early Friday school mornings and Sunday services.
It’s only been two weeks, but it’s been jam-packed with so much life, I almost can’t remember what it’s like to have only four of us here.
And when the Paladin crew packs their suitcases and heads back to the Little Yellow House, I’m pretty sure those early mornings will seem a bit more lonely.
I’ve managed to fit in a bit of holiday decor, even though having half of our house filled with wood flooring sort of made me feel like we’re in limbo. (Kids don’t think we’re in limbo, and this is the only Christmas we get this year — so just do it, Danica! Make it special!)