The white lights of the tree sparkle from within the green branches. I can’t smell the scent of pine from where I lie cuddling the boy on the couch nearby. The lingering cold has morphed from hacking cough to congested sinuses over the last three weeks. But at least the stomach flu that ravaged all four of us over the period of a week is gone. The girl has my eternal awe for beginning and ending the week hunched over a bowl.
On the other side of the black coffee table the husband sits reading to the girl. The large book was part of the girl’s present to her brother. She seems to like the superhero stories as much as he does. I watch her following along in the book, imagining that she is searching for words she recognizes.
The presents that spilled out from under the tree have all been put away or taken back home by our visitors. Despite appearances the gifts were not excessive. Just enough for each of us to feel thought of and remembered by those we love.
Our couch is narrow but the boy and I manage to squeeze close together. I close my eyes and listen to the husband’s voice. Thinking about this last year and the new one to come.