What you didn't see were the smiles on the faces of all the cousins, most of the time. You didn't see that the pool was freezing cold and the children swam anyway. You didn't see the ants which almost took over the kitchen of the rental house where we were. Or the tight parking space that added character to our rental car.
You didn't see the game pieces and paper strewn throughout the house with giggling children running right through it. Or the labels my brother applied to the drinking glasses finally when no one could find their water.
You didn't see my four year old in deep conversation with his four year old cousin talking about their lives and the things they will do, after they have a restaurant and both become painters.
You didn't hear the stomping from the second floor as the cousins put together a Thanksgiving Play. You didn't see the fire in the fire place where we warmed our toes and talked about life. You didn't see the flowers that our little lovelies brought to us by the handfuls from the potted plant out front. Or the dirt from that same spot.
You didn't see the creative hairstyles by all the girl cousins, matching of course. Or the mermaid colored nail polish they all wore. You didn't see how all the children played so well together. Or the memories that they made with their cousins.
You didn't see the shifts of makers and bakers throughout Thanksgiving Day gracefully moving from one to the next in the kitchen as though we planned it.
You didn't see the golden turkey the big daddy pulled off the grill. Or the dishes that each of the family members lovingly created. You didn't see the rolls that I got up early to mix and watch rise. Or the rolling, cutting, and baking required only to burn them in the last two minutes before dinner. Nope you didn't see that!
You didn't see the rainy afternoon that I spent with a dear friend who drove north to see me. Or the lunch we skipped to under a small umbrella while being pummeled with rain. Or the conversation that lasted for three hours non-stop. You didn't see the message once she arrived home that said she thought of ten other things we hadn't talked about. Or the smile on my face as I think of that now.
You didn't see my musical brother who turned 40. Or my daughter playing cello for him in his studio. You didn't see the long walks that I took with my sister-in-law through "the hood". You didn't see us panting up a steep hill that almost curved back on itself. Nor did you see us trying to walk afterwards. You certainly didn't see us laughing and doing it again the next day.
You didn't see the table for six that we tried to seat twenty family members around. You didn't see the assembly line of cereal for all the children each morning. Or the grapes that seemed to evaporate.
You didn't see the traffic we got caught in that made a thirty minute journey into an epic two hour adventure. Or the hula hoops that we made. You didn't see my niece hula hooping in the living room with all the adults watching as she learned how to lift the hula hoop over her head. Or the huge smile that she wore afterwards.
You didn't see the numerous latte runs each day and the hopped up mama I was because of it.
You didn't see the teeny tiny washer, in the kitchen, that ran for two hours or the dryer that needed three hours to dry anything.
You didn't see the dog food and collar in the house of the landlord who said she didn't have a pet. Or the dog hair covered towels that my brother wiped his face on the first morning we were there. You didn't see the tears of laughter we all enjoyed when he retold that story later. Or the framed pictures of cats and dogs all through the house. No, even we were supposed to pretend not to see those.
You didn't see the tears of my eight year old as we said our goodbyes. Or the flawless plane trip back home. You didn't see that we all were in bed by 9:00 Saturday night. Or the lazy pajama day that we had yesterday.
No, you didn't see it but I know you understood it. For you probably had a similar week. Right?
Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you all.
I know the time was spent well. Memories were made and we have a great adventure to talk about in years to come, and not just because of the ants!
Happy Monday to you all.