Month: December 2015

A Razor and a Toothbrush

“Remember a couple of months ago when we didn’t have to share a bathroom counter?” I asked Mike, fondly remembering the spacious house we recently moved out of.

“Yeah, what about it?” he asked.

“I’ll bet you really miss it.”

Mountain of cosmetics on a tiny counter
Mountain of cosmetics on a tiny counter

We both took a moment to absorb the clutter of lotions, cleansers, hair styling tools, and make-up that dominated our tiny, shared bathroom counter. The ratio of my stuff to his was embarrassing. I searched harder than I wanted to before finally finding two items that were his: a razor and a toothbrush. The smallest items on the counter. A thoughtful look passed across Mike’s face, and then he said, “Do you want to know what I think every single morning when I’m trying to navigate all this while getting ready for work?”

I braced myself to admit that I needed to scale back before I nodded for him to continue talking.

“I try to get the toothpaste from under all these cords,” he said, pointing to my hair dryer and curling iron, “and I try to be very quiet since you are still asleep, and I think how happy I am that you stayed with me.”

“You think that?” I asked, shocked.

“Every morning this reminds me that you could have packed up and left me, but you didn’t. It would be terrible if the only things on my bathroom counter were mine.”

If you need me, I’ll be tending to my melting heart.

Human Holiday

“Hey Mom,” Josiah said on his first morning home for Thanksgiving break. “Where’s my toothbrush?”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “Did you remember to bring it with you from college?”


“You didn’t bring it?”

“I didn’t bring anything.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I was coming home, so I didn’t think I’d need to bring anything since I already have everything I need at home,” he explained logically.

“So you didn’t pack clothes or anything?” I asked.

“Why would I?” he questioned. “I was coming home.”

“So,” I clarified, “you literally went to your last class and just got in the car and drove home without bringing anything with you?”


So Josiah spent his first Thanksgiving home from college borrowing socks, buying underwear, and washing his jeans every night. While he was awake, we put him and his siblings to work packing every object we own into a UHaul. Instead of eating and resting, we worked until our muscles trembled. We said goodbye to the piece of land that has been our canvas for these last few years. We reminisced about bonfires and snow days, Christmas mornings, and gathering on the couch to watch Parenthood or MAS*H.

I walked into the empty rooms and could almost hear the echo of Drake and Josiah making us all laugh, Emery asking somewhole family in car deep, complex question, Makenna trying to tell a joke but forgetting how it went. Fighting back tears, I looked at my exhausted family and thought that if this had been a normal Thanksgiving we would all be sitting on the couch rubbing our stuffed bellies and watching a movie. Then I thought of a line in a song by the band Fun that says, “you’re my human holiday.”

We didn’t have the traditions. We didn’t relax. But, we joked together; we helped one another carry, cook and clean; we talked a lot and laughed even more. It was a human holiday. Which is what we all really want anyway.