Twice since Katie and Craig have been home for Christmas, I have dreamed stopwatches. The other day, huge red digital numbers flashed against a black background, ticking down the seconds. Early this morning, a black second hand clicked off against a white clock face.
The kids are heading back to their home today, back to Minnesota. I've just pulled the last load of their laundry from the dryer, checked the house for stray bits and pieces that haven't made it into their luggage yet. In the still-dark morning, with the Christmas lights glowing, it's strangely peaceful and pleasant.
We had the best time last night, the only evening we've had for just the three of us. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. They taught me to play Guitar Hero. We taught Craig to play Yahtzee. The iPod pumped music into the house. I danced around, singing and embarrassing Katie to death. It was all so good.
They'll be up any minute and soon after, they'll pull out the drive and head back to their own lives. I'll cry for a while and then settle into gratitude again. I am truly so grateful for the time we've had, the way we are together.