On Labor Day evening Matt, Tammy, Solomon and Elias came over. Zack drove up from Columbus and arrived before 7:00 p.m. David was already busy outside roasting buttery potatoes in foil, keeping an eye on a sizzling mixed grill of sauced chicken thighs, bratwurst and pork loin. I’d made a tomato, white onion, basil, mint salad and a ‘special treat’ (inside family joke…. sorry)~ deviled eggs. This rendition included black pepper mayo and horseradish.
Before and after dinner, Solomon shopped on the web for basketball shoes to match an outfit (I kid you not….. looking for the perfect giant sized men’s shoes in blue and green.) We all marveled at how Solomon was no longer scouring the web for the latest Lego set. Matt teased about how 8th grade boys are concerned about shoe colors and styles and the girls are all a foot taller than the boys. Elias puttered back and forth from toy basket to his fort located under an umbrella propped between the coffee table and TV cabinet. He’s become the regular excellent leader of our dinner prayer.
We commiserated with Zack whose ears have been blocked for weeks and even a visit to an urgent care doctor was no help. We talked about Syrian refugees needing help in Europe and we talked about the latest “This American Life” podcast that explained how to interact properly, improv style, with people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
As we chattered and laughed and bemoaned difficulties, Tammy, sitting under the lamp light at the end of the sofa, leafed through the latest Sundance catalogue sharing with me the items she liked best. David fretted over whether or not everyone had enough to eat and as usual, stepped in to finish the clean up I’d started after dinner.
I sat and watched all of this and marveled at the gift that a family can be as we drank decaf and ate peach pie with vanilla ice cream. Elias finished his and then asked for a popsicle too. We indulged him when he asked for four bowls so he could pretend to serve us ice cream.