“Now, Tell Me How You Are Really.”
All three of the sons who live far away got home at least once this year, leading to a whirlwind of rearranged schedules and special events. Yet sometime in each visit, Tracy will draw her boy aside, checking up on emotional states, love lifes, and goals for the coming year. Because she’s the mother, that’s her job. The sons answer reasonably. Because that’s their job. Some of them understand the rules of this exchange better than others, frankly.
Waiting For The Clouds To Part
When Chris was home over his 26th birthday, he asked for skydiving. Fine idea, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to plummet thousands of feet, but the weather started getting away from him: too cloudy to jump. It’s not like the lad has a lot of flexibility to come back from Norway when the weather clears in a few days. The clouds parted just enough on the last possible day. The text that he had landed safely came as a relief.
“Hey! Unto you a child is born!” yelled Gladys
The older granddaughter, Emily has crested into territory of family traditions: going to The Nutcracker with Nana, or the Currier Museum with Pops, and finally being old enough to be a Tomte at Luciafest. This year Tracy is reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to her during Advent (she will likely cry this year, too), while the rest of us play characters. Sarah is starting to get on board, clutching her own binoculars that she keeps here in order to watch birds with Nana. However, Sarah uses them backwards, while Emily glowers resentfully that the younger sister has something she doesn’t, so there are still a few bugs in the system.
Everyone Loves Kyle
Did we say that last year? It’s true. He is coming down the home stretch of senior year. He has a tight group of friends, who encouraged him to play soccer and run track even though those aren’t his sports. No matter, he is quickly at the center. Lacrosse, where he has put in a fair bit of effort these last two years, should be more fun this spring than any of his winter or tournament teams. And then, according to recent plans, on to the Army Reserves, and training for the military police, and college with an eye to law enforcement. Even his new haircut is a little more high and tight. Life changes quickly, and there have been sudden leaps of growing up, rather than gradual increments, over the last twelvemonth.
A W.P. Kinsella Evening
Minor league baseball plus unusual atmospheric conditions just naturally evoke Kinsella’s books, which David and Ben have been sharing for years. We went down to see the Pawsox while he was back in August, hoping to see this Xander Bogaerts phenom. Unfortunately, the phenom had been called up to the Red Sox exactly one day earlier. Still, the drive was easy, the seats good, the restaurant close, and the sky turned an unearthly magenta over the left field fence. What could be better?
Well, perhaps the trip to Fenway with Jonathan and Kyle, paid for by John-Adrian, was better. There were more of us – that’s fun. David struck up a conversation with another old guy while the younger three took pictures of each other and the more ridiculous nearby fans – we call them Pink Hats here.
“I Would Like To Publicly Thank My Dad For Benching Philip Rivers”
David, Ben, Jonathan, Heidi, John-Adrian, and semi-son Ryan Letares are in a fantasy football league. Ben and Ryan are usual powerhouses, but JA has made it into the finals this year. Talking smack, too. Jonathan and David are already revamping their strategy for next year.
“We’ve Picked Out Some Of The Music For Tomorrow.”
Said by the betrothed couple to David, the evening before the wedding. I think of myself as a flexible person, and had blithely said I could adjust to whatever they wanted, after agreeing to become a Justice of the Peace in order to perform the ceremony. Hmm. Harder than I thought. Still, Morgan Leap and Ryan Letares did get married. The surroundings were lovely, though October chilly. Ben and JA both made an extra trip home to be there. What could be better?
“It’s okay to leave now.”
This year included a lot of running down to see Dad in South Shore Hospital. While we almost lost him this past spring, he’s still soldiering on. One Sunday we got a call that his assisted living home had sent him to the ER for chest pains. So instead of going to church she hightailed it down to the hospital. There was Dad with good color, talking coherently and waiting to be admitted. They wanted to do observations overnight before sending him back. So we watched the football game together until he dismissed Tracy with the above quote.