It Takes a (Gingerbread) Village


Usually I’m a stickler for the January 1 deadline, but tonight there are still some remains of Christmas around the house. The lights are not only up, they’re on, and the tree is bare but waits in the corner of the living room — items on Ray’s “to do” list.

The garbage was so full — and had been for several days — that there was no room for the gingerbread houses that have gathered on the kitchen windowsill in the past few weeks. That’s okay; I don’t relish the thought of disposing of them. I’ve come to think of this as my own little village. (And trust me, it takes one, in my world. I only feel guilty that the one Annabelle built in Mrs. Z’s class fell apart so completely I tossed it the day it came home. Bad Mom.) One house will stay with us, the gingerbread cookie jar from my friend Gilda, the collector extraordinaire. I plan to tuck it on the top kitchen shelf with the other cookie jars, a rare holiday item on year-round display.

I’m not sure I can part yet with the glittered beads on the chandelier. They’re blue — that’s a January color, right? It did feel icy cold out tonight, at 54 degrees.

Otherwise, the holidays are gone. I giggled this morning over the number of Facebook friends who confessed their joy at being back to the usual routine. I was relieved, I admit it. I know Ray was. I think the girls were, too. Annabelle wanted to compare gift notes with her friends, and Sophie — well, I think Sophie really does crave routines. I dropped her at Ms. X’s door today with a silent prayer to the back-to-school gods: Please, don’t let her be any more out of control than her classmates.

The call came late in the day — Ms. X was just leaving school, poor thing; it was dark already. She reported that Sophie had a great first day back! She fell asleep in the afternoon when they watched a movie, but so did a couple other kids. Otherwise, she did very well.

The school year is officially half over. My little girls are so grown up. The other day at the zoo, I snapped this photo of Sophie on the carousel, and was struck by how old she looks. It’s already January 6. 2009’s flying by.

And the garbage came today.



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