Nothing like family for holidays, laughter

Published 12:31 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

The telephone woke me up Wednesday morning, but it was minutes later when I hung up that a noise in another part of the house made my eyes open wide. Laughter bubbled from the living room. I tiptoed to the door and watched my two little great-granddaughters giggling and bouncing up and down on the air mattress where they had slept. Children’s voices and laughter—oh, how sweet! It had been some time since there were any children in my house. They live out of state and I rarely get to see them.

As soon as my visiting granddaughter got word from her cousin, the girls’ dad, that they would arrive Tuesday afternoon, my son, my daughter, and my son-in-law, and I, got excited. We speculated about what time they would arrive. We wondered how much the girls had grown since we saw them last. We wondered how school was going for them. Now and then, someone looked out the big picture window, trying not to let the others know he or she was looking for a vehicle with an out of state tag pull in the driveway.

I had settled into my recliner for a short nap when a tap sounded at the door. I think we all tried to reach it at once. There they were—my muscular, red-bearded grandson and his beautiful smiling seven-year-old Erica and equally as pretty 11-year-old Anna with dark brown eyes. Hugs were exchanged over and over again.

Anna brought out a book and a giant sized box of crayons. The book contained their drawings and colored pictures. Soon Erica chose a crayon and went to work. Later, as their granddaddy flashed pictures of movies and television shows on the TV screen, they identified ones they had seen and finally agreed on a choice to watch. After that, sunshine lured them to the back yard for a jump roping session. They lasted much longer than I ever did when I jumped rope. Maybe it was because they take dancing lessons, which I never did.

They were practicing tumbling when Erica somehow slipped and bumped her head on the concrete sidewalk. It raised a knot on her head. After she held an ice pack on it for a few minutes, her tears disappeared. Showers of hugs and soothing words from the sympathetic kin probably helped a little, too.

Sometime that evening I listened to my grandson and granddaughter tell stories about some of their antics when they were youngsters. We almost folded up laughing as they related those experiences. Even the girls chimed in with their stories. Again, laughter filled the room.

Before the girls and their dad drove away, everyone gathered in the front yard to make pictures, despite all the picture taking that had already occurred inside. Next, there were hugs again, all around. There is nothing like a family holiday gathering to spark memories and inspire lots of laughter. For this, I am both blessed and thankful.


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.