After considering this for a while, I have decided that I am going to partake of some shameless self-indulgent sentimentality.
We all went to Lydia’s in Butte last night for dinner in her honor- it was one of her favorite places. Dad, my brother and sister, their spouses and their parents, me and Ken and his mom. We celebrated all the mothers in our families- including the absent ones. And I noticed something last night that I haven’t been able to shake.
I love being around this family.
I loved watching my Dad enjoy his children. I loved watching Ken gently pull the chair out for his mom before she sat. I loved how we all told stories and laughed and listened and ate delicious food- sharing tastes across the table. I loved the subtle teasing, the secret shared smiles, the knowing nods and the conversation that was all over the table. I loved how we drank wine and water and Manhattans and Diet Coke and shamelessly ordered dessert. I loved how we all treated each other like, well, like we loved each other.
Which we do.
And I wanted my Mom there- because she was always such an uncompromisingly real presence at all of our family gatherings. You never had to wonder what she thought, or who she was talking to- or about. She loved nothing more than to sit next to my Dad and tell stories and laugh, remind us of details- or have us remind her, and generally just be with her kids and have a good time. I’m not sure how, but she taught us how to enjoy each other.
I remember watching them watch us last Christmas. They were sitting together on a couch, and we (me, brother, sister and all our respective spouses) were all talking to each other, telling stories and teasing each other a little, laughing and just having a great time. I happened to look up at my parents and I saw my Mom look at my Dad, smile, and put her head on his shoulder. That moment is one of the most precious memories I have. In my mind, I hear that smile and that gesture say “We done good, Dave.”
They sure did.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. We miss you lots.