A week off from writing for the holidays. B came home for the first time in over 6 months and it was wonderful to see him! He was here last Monday to Friday for a low key and lovely visit.
Everytime i see him it makes me realize how much I miss him. So having him here, just hanging out, eating his favorite foods he can’t get in the Pacific Northwest, was a joy. It’s hard that he’s so far away yet I’m glad he’s spreading his wings and settling into a new city and part of the country. It’s a good thing to do when you are young.
V was glad to see him too, he just couldn’t tell him in words but with smiles and bright eyed stares into his face. I’m so aware of how T & I miss him because we express it so readily and frequently that I don’t give enough weight to how much V feels his absence also.
So it was nice to have a few days together.
On Thursday we all went down to my brother and sister in law’s house for Thanksgiving. It was great to have our whole family there after two years: my dad and siblings and nieces and nephews and baby great-nephew. I felt thankful for everything that went right: no traffic, a full day with relatives who all get along and love each other, a big delicious meal, both of my boys there with the rest of the extended family.
I was especially thankful – and pleasantly surprised given my trepidation leading up to the holiday – that V was on great behavior. He is comfortable at my brother’s house, because they have such a lovely home and they are the most gracious and accommodating hosts. Even having missed a year he was immediately at ease, and while he normally spends most of the time in their nice finished basement he actually sat at the table part of the time, which felt like a minor miracle. I realize I worry too much but the fact is that things often do not go so smoothly and I gird myself for the worst. V’s behavior is unpredictable, which leads to stress of the unknown, the many “what if’s” that are often reality.
Usually when you take a familiar path or follow directions, you have some sense of the end result but life with V is not like that and we have to be prepared for various scenarios. It’s not like following a recipe and feeling fairly confident that if you complete each step as laid out it will turn out fine. Which is why activities like baking are so rewarding. And while this was my first time making pumpkin pie in two years, the tips I’ve learned still worked. For crust, freezing the butter and then grating it into the flour is a good trick. And for the filling, first heating the canned pumpkin with the spices so that it tastes more homemade and the flavors meld together.
Meld is a favorite word of mine, it’s the secret to much cooking: to have the flavors merge and combine. It’s also a good goal in life; at its best we blend into one unit, all separate and unique yet sharing a common experience and space. Which is what made Thanksgiving so special this year. Four generations spread out in the living room, sitting together at one table, sharing a special meal. For me, it is a rare gift to take away the isolation I experience so often, to feel myself meld with those I love and hold dear. For that I give thanks