By Micaela Hoops

By Micaela Hoops

herald democrat

When do the holidays officially end? The days between Christmas and New Year’s Day have been a holiday unto themselves since my two brothers and I have crashed my parent’s home. We wake up to each other’s disgruntled faces and fall asleep a little later each night. I’m exhausted. Yet I keep telling myself that it’s the holidays and these days won’t last forever.

Soon enough each brother will move on to their regular life. I will contact them occasionally on Facebook but that face-to-face interaction will disappear. I truly love hearing my brothers tell me about their gas, getting me to stay up past my bedtime with a little more holiday booze than I care to drink and each of us singing a different favorite song at the same time. It’s all in good fun. Yet, I don’t know how to tell my brothers politely that I’d rather go to bed than sit around the fire pit for a few more hours. I guess they get the point when I fall asleep on their shoulder.

I hear my mother, sigh, as she looks at the dish filled kitchen sink and say, "It’s the holidays."

My father conveniently started a home-improvement project with my brothers. It was a good idea considering all the men in our house; however, now they will be leaving after New Year’s Day and the project is far from over.

My two toddlers have loved having two extra people to toss them into the air, whirl them around and read them books. But somehow, with all this extra attention, a few more things have been taken apart, dishes have broken, Christmas paint has gotten on the walls. I don’t think I can wrap my head around the amount of living bodies.

But surely this chaos and disorder is what we wanted or at least we exchanged tidiness for a strange, no-rules, living partnership with a few more adults until the holidays are finally over. When will that be exactly? For me the holidays will begin when the chaos is over.

Yet it is to the nightly gathering at dinner that I don’t want to say goodbye. It is the closest I feel to being a kid, which is what the holidays can give to you, year after year. My son insists that his Tio (Spanish for uncle) got him a piggy bank even though all his uncle did was put 50 cents into the new gift. My other son likes to sit in Tio’s lap when mine is unavailable. I guess I’ll have to return to the bickering over my lap when he’s gone. Now that I think a little more about it, I think what we need is not another holiday but a bigger house.

Happy birthday Tuesday to Roy Gann of Denison; Marcella Reed, P.J. Paylor and Patricia Hoops, all of Sherman; Cade Strange of Whitesboro; Willie Simpson of Ambrose.