I'l admit I have many favorite things. But the 2 most important are probably my parents.
Today was the most mellow Christmas Eve ever. No siblings, in-laws, friends, no orphans this year - just me hanging out with my folks. Which in theory might be nice.
I was destined however to a myriad of household chores. Like, for exampe, pulling the refrigerator away from the wall to vacuum the floor, walls, and clean the coils. My mom hates nothing more than inefficiency, especially if it costs her. In the interim, I experienced extreme boredom. By late afternoon, my mom was still holding down the kitchen, my dad was finally cleaning out his Roledexes (yes, PLURAL) from the business he dissolved 8 years ago, and I was watching a movie.
The movie wasn't holding my attention and I took a break to check in on the kitchen action. For the first time on a holiday, my mom looked out of sorts. She started bitching about the fact that we were all singularly putzing about, and her eyes welled with tears. She was seeing this Eve as very solitary holiday indeed.
We sat to a wonderful dinner, with a wonderful 1993 Stagsleap wine, and enjoyed the threesome, in the only way perhaps, that a family which has never been just a threesome for the past 34 years could.... and it is hard to describe. Comfortable, familiar, pleasant, and lacking anything new or interesting except the fact that here we were, just the three of us.
And then the burden of The Night of Just Three broke, as some neighbors stopped by. And my mother lit up because she could talk about the meal she just made and knew someone would appreciate it, and my dad lit up as the neighbor talked about upgrading to a flatscreen TV. And everyone had an excellent moment when our family bird, who loves me and my mom and tolerates my father, went to the neighbors shoulder and was quite happy there if she didn't look at him and remind him that he really hates her.
And this is one of my favorite things: to see my parents in their comfort, in their element, in their natural habit of entertaining, in the place where 60+ year old men revert to the topics of 20 year olds and the women continute the time resistent traditionof neighborly gossip and beaming with pride about their children. And I can sit there, at the fireplace, with my back warm and my heart filled completely.