The house is overrun. The brother and his family and cousins and their families have arrived. Nieces and nephews proliferate and play and shout and cavort. (In India, cousins' kids are as much nieces and nephews as one's siblings. There is, in fact, no word for "cousin" in Hindi, or Gujarati, or Marathi.) Was it such a long time back that we were going to our grandmother's house over the holidays and plotting various schemes while those boring old grown-ups sipped their chais and sat on the jhoola (swing)?
Exchange with my five year old nephew earlier in the day:
Nephew: "You always bring me something. Where is it?"
Me: "Umm. Not this time. You have to wait till Santa Claus brings it on Christmas."
Nephew (after slight pause and a withering look): "But, you're Santa Claus, aren't you?"
Me: "Hey! Watch it! My mid-section isn't that big yet!"
Well there you have it!
Right now the house is quiet. They've all gone to see a flick. I am feeling a bit poorly (a mild fever of all things. I can't recall the last time I had a fever!), and not wanting to overdo things on a very short holiday with a lot of travel, I stayed home. I've been listening to Bach's magisterial Mass in B Minor. When was the last time that I actually just sat and listened to music and did nothing else?
Gaudete! It's almost Christmas.