December 23, 2010

Home for the holidays

Queen of the hill

Last night I drove downtown with my parents and Urban Sophisticate Sister to see the Christmas lights. We parked near the skating rink, which was filled with bundled-up teenagers, skating round and round. The little side streets of bars, restaurants, and shops twinkled with white lights that had been strung on tree branches. We walked into a shop filled with pottery and artwork; my sister bought a ring made by a local artist. Because Urban Sophisticate lives in Big City Like No Other, I don’t think the big Christmas tree in Snowstorm City impressed her; she was more interested in the piles of snow. She climbed up one so that I could snap a blurry photo with her phone.

When I returned to my own house, the young people were gathering by the fire. I’d declared the evening a “no-computer” night, so the laptops were piled upstairs on my daughter’s bed. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter made vegetarian chili in the crockpot. Boy in Black added a leaf to the table, which was soon filled with food. With-a-Why and Quick played a game of chess, sitting on the floor amidst the noise and confusion. Film Guy and his girlfriend, Sparkly Eyes, arrived with cookies and chatter. Skater Boy sat on the piano bench and played his guitar. Shaggy Hair Boy made punch, while Sailor Boy got out bottles of champagne.

Boy in Black said it felt odd, after being so busy as a grad student during the semester, to have time on his hands. He’d even gone shopping with his sister and Film Guy. “I got up, and had nothing to do, so I went to the mall,” he said. “It’s like I’m a thirteen-year-old girl.”

“I’ve still got work to do,” said my daughter. “Research. I’m going to do some work later tonight.” Her words weren’t very convincing. She was cuddled on the couch next to Sailor Boy, with a glass of champagne in her hand.

Quick looked up from the chessboard. “In which Xmen movie did Professor Xavier beat Magneto in chess?”

“Couldn’t be the first one,” said Sailor Boy. “Because he went to prison at the end of that.”

“Right,” said my husband. “The game took place in prison so it must have been the second.”

“This is a pretty dude-heavy party,” said Sparkly Eyes, looking over at me with a smile.

The nights are long this time of year, but somehow the time goes by fast while we’re cooking, eating, talking, and just hanging out by the fire. It was well past midnight before my husband and I went up to bed. It felt good to know that we didn’t need to set an alarm. All of the kids were safely home, and the house was filled with food and music.


heidi said...

Love that pile of snow!

kathy a. said...

oh, what a lovely evening.

Kyla said...

Wow, I wish we'd get just a tiny bit of that snow!