We are halfway there to being reunited. This 3 days is weening us back to nuclear familyhood. With the arrival of #1 child, I must publicly state that this is not the favorite, only the first born who happened to finish finals first, we continued a recently established tradition, the first meal back together. It is off to the Japanese restaurant for sushi. There is nothing like catching up over raw fish.
The first conversation is filling in the blanks of the last six weeks since we were last together. It is nice to have undivided attention, to celebrate successes, commiserate about disappointments, hear funny stories about friends you only know by name, and plan for the summer. For a few minutes during the meal I withdraw and reflect on how my former T baller is now a rising senior. A year from now, we will be watching the processional of caps and gowns. Back to reality and we will plan for this summer and enjoy as much of one another as possible.
The next day we get to share one of my favorite activities, playing softball together, father and son. I am so grateful for having this experience. It is a gift to do something jointly that is fun and relatively carefree. The only stress is to avoid embarrassing myself with an error or strikeout. I am way past the emotion of his being selected higher order than his old man. I can watch his exploits and being accepted and one of the men, totally on his own merits.
Then, the next ritual is picking up breakfast at the local bagel store. Gotta give the kid the food he likes, this is still a parental responsibility and pleasure. Whitefish or lox spread, Dad? Whatever you want son, it is good to have you back home. Both if you want.
The next night we had a taste of what is to come in a few days. Wanna skype? The three locals huddle around the computer staring at the missing member who is packing up in anticipation of moving out in a couple of days. Let the laughing, teasing and rivalry for parental affection begin. No one escaped unscathed from the loving abuse. Buuut, it wasn't quite the same as all being together.
That will happen tomorrow.