When my cousins come together, the energy becomes loud and chaotic.

In any other context, this kind of energy, for me, is less than ideal. However, as is the case with those we love, it’s familiar and one I’ve grown fond of. 

The weekend has been filled with good food, exclamations of joy because of the goodness of the food (I’m learning that this runs in the family), board games, and conversations composed entirely of quotes and references from our most beloved movies and shows, each person getting louder as they add on to the montage:

“You have to put it up higher.”
“Higher? I hardly know her!”
“Shut uuuuuup”
“LOUDER SON!”
“BUTTLICKER! OUR PRICES HAVE NEVER BEEN LOWER!”
“DWIGHT! NEVER YELL AT A CUSTOMER!” 

As such, I hadn’t the time nor the place to start reading T.S. Eliot. Until this morning. 

Since we are on a toddler’s sleep schedule, we rose before everyone else. I groggily walked over to the Chemex, thankful that my practiced hands could perform their morning ritual while my mind was still thick with sleep.

Eventually, I find a quiet spot on a couch with coffee in one hand and Eliot in the other. The sun peeks through the window, as if to greet me “good morning”, leaving streaks of sunlight on the page. My gaze lingers on a passage often quoted, and one that one of my favorite modern poets takes hold of:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time 
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse 

I hear the pitter-patter of my daughter’s feet on hardwood, unable to understand how to keep quiet while others are still sleeping. I glance up and see the top of her ponytail bouncing up and down behind the brown couch across from me, as she runs her laps around the house. I hear her footsteps stop in the other room, where the boys are sleeping on the couches. 

“Tito Mikey! Wake up Tito Mikey! Watch Frozen!”

Knowing that my quiet reading time is coming to an end, I breathe in deeply, thankful for a moment of peace. 

More pitter-patter.

She arrives, bright-eyed with a mischievous grin, holding a TV remote, a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, and someone’s phone. 

“Watch Elsa?”

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