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Browsing Tag: family

Some Little Lessons I’ve Learned from Pandemic Thanksgiving + Start of Covid Christmastime

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over this Pandemic Thanksgiving + start of Covid Christmastime:   On the Wednesday before your it’s-just-us-this-year Thanksgiving, it’s really nice to cook the big meal with your kids while also not stressing about cleaning the house for company. You’ll miss the family you won’t be seeing, of course, but you will absolutely appreciate the calm. And the discovery that your twelve-year-old likes to chop vegetables.   On Thanksgiving Day, have dinner late so you can make a charcuterie board for lunch. No one will be upset about this.   On that Friday, clean the house in the morning before you start pulling out all the decorations. Yes, you’re still going to have to vacuum up the needles after all is said and done, but you can’t beat decking the halls when they’re already sparkly. (Also, somebody spilled cranberry sauce on the floor yesterday. You have to get out the mop, anyway.)   On that Saturday, there’s no shame in counting a masked-up early-morning trip to Lowe’s…

Then Anything is Possible: Happy Thanksgiving

It’s 7:15 on Sunday morning. I’ve just sat down on the couch with a newspaper and the first, and therefore most precious, cup of coffee of the day. Cian’s already here in the living room playing, and he abandons his toys when I sit to climb up beside me and rest his head on my shoulder. He says good morning, and that’s where the expected slow start to my day goes into hyperdrive. “Mom?” he says. “If anything is possible, then nothing is possible.” I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve had one–one!–sip from the hot mug of coffee I still hold in my hand. I am not ready for seven-year-old philosophy yet, but Cian’s thought process moves at a speed that requires the under-caffeinated to catch up. I think for a second. Take another sip. “But, buddy,” I say, “think about this: the word ‘any’ can be all things. Like if we talk about ‘anyone,’ we’re really talking about all people. So what does that…

Mom’s Decline, and A Little Psychological Sewing

I thought maybe I should spare you an update this week, because I’m in a crappy, crappy mood (a friend asked Sunday how Mom was doing, and do you know what I said? “Oh, she’s totally dying.” The poor guy looked like I’d slapped him in the face). Mom has been declining again–no sooner did we pull her off hospice than she started acting like, well, maybe that wasn’t the best idea. She’s grown progressively weaker, and has become just sort of older-seeming. (This cancer of Mom’s likes to keep us on our toes, but I much prefer the happier surprises, you know?) On Saturday, David and I had made plans to take the kids to see Mom in the afternoon and have a movie day. The kids were excited–they’d settled on Jumanji, because “cake makes me explode!”–and Mom had been looking forward to it. We went tumbling into her house around 2:15, a big bowl of freshly-popped buttered popcorn in hand, but Mom was nowhere to be seen. The house was quiet…