In the midst of the comings and goings
Angry Birds on the aunt’s iPad
Great Gramma asking for the 13th time, “Did I feed the birds?”
(Yes, Mother, we put seed out this this morning)
Plans for ice skating foiled by the human gridlock at the mall
Chips and margaritas at Tupy’s
Hollering out headlines from the Dallas Morning News
“Do you believe this jackass is still trying to arm teachers?”
Cowboys at noon, iced beer cracking open
Kitchen counters piled high with Chex mix and peanut brittle
Coughing, hacking, interrupted sleep
Futon frame collapsing under us in the wee hours
An after-midnight arrival of the Colorado kin
The stash under the tinsel-draped tree growing with each new arrival
The NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE
Somehow, Bug and I find our way behind a closed bedroom door. Freshly bathed with jammies on, we sit cross legged on the floor. He has found cards in the drawer where his great Gramma keeps the supply from long-ago bridge games.
“What do I do next, Mommy?” He consults the fan in his hand.
“Same shape or same number. Also, you can put an eight down at any time and change the suit.”
“Is this one a club?”
“Yep. The one shaped like a clover.”
We play up until bedtime. Bug places a final three of diamonds and wins the game. The grin on his face is as bright as the lights on the tree.
The last time Bug and I tried to play a proper game of cards, he was a year younger. He could not count the numbers and I did not have the patience to help him. In this chattering, crowded moment, we carve out a corner of the universe just for the two of us. Just for play.