I am an organizer, a planner, a list maker. There is a clock or an egg timer, a calendar or a notebook, a dry erase board or a magnetic clip with note attached, in every room.
When family comes to visit, a meal magically appears on the table. The house is clean and the lawn is mowed. Covered dishes warm on the stove and cold dishes chill in the refrigerator. Pitchers of ice-cold lemonade and tea wait to fill glasses, and the coffee pot only needs to be started. The dessert takes center stage on the kitchen table. We say grace, we sit and eat, we enjoy our time together as a family.
No one asks how it all got done.
The week before, I took inventory, making lists of things that need to be bought or set out before the company arrives. Every day of the week has its own list and on the last day the focus shifts into hourly checklists.
Almost as soon as the first guests arrive, everything falls into place as if by magic and I sit and enjoy my children and their families. They did not witness all the work it took to get here, all the pots and pans, bowls and appliances that I used and washed. It looks like I wiggled my nose and everything came together on its own.
We say grace, we sit and eat, we enjoy our time together. Every minute of planning and work is worth the effort. My family is growing in size and in age and magical moments together like this are more precious than gold or diamonds.
When it is time to leave and the last car drives off, leaving only fading echoes of children’s laughter and grown up chatter, I have no need for a list or a clock or a pencil. Things will get done, put away, and straightened over the following week, but first, I will sit, smile, and enjoy the tiny bit of magic I helped to create.