I had dinner last night with my Brother Drew, his wife Rebbie and my seven year old Namesake niece. Drew grilled Cornish Hens. Rebbie prepared an Arugula Salad. And Namesake made up their back lawn table with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and cloth napkins. It was lovely.
When done, Namesake played out in the yard, collecting herbs for me to sample, as the remaining three picked at the remnants of a perfectly prepared dinner and chatted about our lives.
Namesake wanted to play chess. Not tonight. Instead, I told her to pick a movie and after I get back from my road trip to New Hampshire with Grandma, we’ll give Mommy and Daddy an evening out and have a movie night to ourselves. She was all in and I got a hug.
For years I was just the visiting Aunt and Sister at the Thanksgiving table. One of the lures to moving to this area was to experience my family members on days not associated with a holiday.
I spent about two hours with Drew and Company. I’ll be back over there in a few weeks. Unexpected, I ran into my brother Paul after dinner at the local CVS and we chatted for about 20 minutes in the parking lot.
And I totally dig developing a renewed friendship with my brothers and Rebbie … but it’s this newest addition to our inner circle that has been the glue that has solidified my decision my come here. She’s an inspiration.
I never knew how cool it was to be thought of as cool by a seven year old. It helps that Namesake is a striking individual … her parents are well rounded people, and she is following suit. A polite happy artistic forgetful bright cute kid who is learning balance with taekwondo.
She eats escargot. She watches football. She loves tzatziki. She reads like a boss and completes complex lego designs. She can entertain herself. And when she talks to me she stares deeply into my eyes, straight through to my soul.
With that, I realised a few months ago that she is the gauge I want to rest my bar on. I have a big hill to climb to set that bar. I am not nearly worthy. I have a few rounds with the rosary to atone for … but I’m sure going to try.
Come August Drew and Rebbie are taking Namesake to Ireland for two weeks and will stay for a few days with our cousins in Donegal. Another family member connecting with the travelling life, her first trip is going to be a journey to a place that is called ‘Going Home’. It couldn’t be more poetic.
Before I left she picked the movie we are going to watch. My Dad’s favourite … the 1949 classic On The Town.
I mean, c’mon.