This morning my husband left early to go and get poinsettias to decorate the church sanctuary for Christmas service tomorrow, and every one else kept sleeping. Finally I got up, showered and dressed for the day, and checked on Joe, my son's friend. He was awake, politely reading in bed and no doubt wondering at the absurdly late hour of rising in our household. It was almost ten. I asked if he was hungry and he said, "Yes, actually," which probably meant he was ravenous. I told him come on out to the kitchen where he sat at the counter and I fixed him a cheese, tomato and onion omelet, the two of us chatting. Very sweet kid. Polite but not stiff, and very willing to share his story. As we sat there chatting, my son in the living room slept on, and it occurred to me that when my son brings a female friend home, he's always up before her, fixing her breakfast and making sure she's taken care of. But when it's a male friend, those boys are on their own.
Eventually the girls emerged. My daughter was rushing by then, because she was supposed to meet some of her high school friends to bake cookies and hand out to an AIDS hospice and a firehouse, something that particular group has done every year since 9/11. Apparently, they have decided to continue to tradition. My son and his friend left to go Christmas shopping shortly after the girls banged out of the house, and then it was just my husband and me, looking at each each other, laughing and not even having to explain what we were laughing about. The clamor and the noise. And then blessed peace. I love it all.