At midnight, my best friend of 28 years called to tell me she was sending me a funny e-mail. "I'm bored," she said, tucked into the house she and her husband are buying while her children slept peacefully. "Mm-hmm," I agreed as I drove to my cousin Trinity's house to take her son some children's motrin. "Just read the e-mail and call me," she said.
Trinity was in the bed, her son and niece tucked in with her. We talked for a moment, then I left.
Upon returning home, I found that I had two friends waiting for me in the yard. New friends, which is amazing, because I don't have many friends and I don't make them easily. So, I climbed into the backseat, sat with them, and did absolutely nothing except run my mouth.
Around two a.m., I finally came in the house. I could smell the evidence of my mom's cooking--the ham was in the oven and the sweet potato pies that I'd poured into the crusts were cooling.
I looked in on my 16-year-old nephew, who was spending the night, climbed over my niece, who was on the floor, and fell into bed.
This morning, a text message from an Alaskan friend whom I haven't heard from in a while woke me. I went back to sleep in a good mood. An hour-and-a-half later, I called from my room into the living room (no, we don't have a big house; I'm just lazy) to tell my niece to put on a pot of water to boil for my one contribution--macaroni and cheese. She said, "Hold on, we're coming." What for, I wondered, but she's 18 and I no longer expect to understand her.
She came into my room with my seven-year-old nephew. They brought me breakfast in bed! They sang me a good morning song! They scrambled my eggs in butter the way I like! For today, at least, I wouldn't trade these kids for the world. My son missed out; like his mom, he was asleep.
My sister spent the night last night as well. I checked in on her. She's had a long week and she was tired. But she was cheerful and enjoying her breakfast. Then, I looked in on my dad. He was still bundled up in bed--strange for a typically early riser--but his breathing was regular and I could see his head poking out from the top of his covers.
From the kitchen came the scent of my mom's dressing and the sound of her soft voice as she talked to the children. She scolded my son about sleeping in a necklace. "Why, MawMaw?" he asked. "I'm scared you'll strangle yourself!" she said. The kids sat at the table eating as my mom did last minute stuff in the kitchen.
"Anyone heard from (my 17-year-old niece)?" She's due anyday now (tomorrow, preferably :-).
"Not yet," her sister answered. "Mama said she better hold that baby--no one's missing dinner today."
I sat down in my favorite chair, at the computer which is my lifeline :-), in our bright, busy kitchen, in our little warm house, with my big, loud family, and I felt good.