by - February 26, 2020

Dinner was late. I wanted to go running first, and one of my married ones worked late. But eventually we sat down to black beans and rice and another Cuban dish I can halfway pull of called picadillo.

Adrian did a lot of the talking, as he tends to do. But his stories and insight were so good tonight. Deep. Crystallizing. Satisfying in an unfinished way, like finding and fitting the next piece into an incomplete puzzle. Adrian is a deep thinker, and I sometimes say he has wisdom beyond his years. The gift of discernment perhaps?

At 9:30 our intense huddle at the dinner table broke when someone suggested Sonic for ice cream.

Reagan rushed upstairs for shoes. She added her cheetah print flats to her flannel shirt and red Christmas pajama pants with gingerbread men all over, and cat-walked flamboyantly back into the kitchen. It was her personal fashion runway, and she was recognizing, no – celebrating!, her outlandish appearance.

The weightiness and intimacy of our conversation was gone now, fully tamped down by her silly strut and giddy, child-like excitement about ice cream. She radiated a ridiculousness that swept away the gravity of the dinner communion among us. This change in mood was welcome and a glorious way to end such a meal.

Alone in the kitchen, I put leftovers away and tucked some quivering shafts of light from our conversation into my heart for safekeeping. Could they possibly be illuminating some cracks in hard, long-held exteriors, the beginnings of healing? I dare to believe so. Hope, tonight, was a leftover worth saving for later. 

When the kids returned, ice cream in hand, Adrian hugged and kissed me goodbye. I said, "Thanks for all you shared tonight." Then I said what I've said to my children countless times:  I'm proud of you.

"Hmmf," he replied, mid-embrace. "I chased after hearing those words all my life. And now, I don't really need to hear them anymore, Mom." And he shrugged, as if he didn't understand. He was surprised he felt this way tonight.

I was not. 

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