Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Flabgiving!!!

We had a great weekend. Most excellent! Nick’s Boy Scout Pack was invited to be in the county Thanksgiving parade and so we hustled downtown and parked about a million miles away (all streets were closed) and huffed and puffed up the street. The Pack Leader is a bit of a sarge, so I was terrified of being late. As usual, we were one of the first people there. I put myself through such agony…It was a stunning day—all fall crispness—and Nick looked so cute in his Cub Scout uniform.

The boys all lined up and they had a very fancy banner and they marched through the streets. I walked along the sidelines, taking pictures and clapping and rocking back and forth (like a DORK) to the Redskins marching band that was right in front of them.

I mean, yes, Norman Rockwell and Frank Capra and Andy Griffith and just about every other icon of American down home perfectitude shone down on us. I had…so much fun and Nick did too, although he was a lot more blasé about it. For some reason, ever since he was a baby, he never really cared about parades. And I of course have some kind of daft thing about them. Which is why I cry every year watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (e-v-e-r-y year). Onward…

Then that night we had a dinner party that...worked. It fell together and it was beautiful. One of those times where everyone arrives and the coats slip off and the conversation starts and there’s just so much revelry and bonhomie and warmth, that it’s great. Oh yeah, and lots of vodka.

It was plov night, which has become sort of a tradition chez nous. MZA makes the national dish of Uzbekistan, plov, and we serve shots of vodka (the hostess does not partake, let’s be clear) and LOTS OF RED CAVIAR. Nick and Daisy practically inhaled the red caviar and Ian was the master of ceremonies for the 4 and under crowd—serving juice boxes and distributing pizza slices.

Everyone looked beautiful—we’re all old friends, from different paths of acquaintance. I liked it. It was nice.

Then Tess, Sheila’s daughter, spent the night. Nick slept on the floor and she got his bottom bunk and Ian slept in his usual top bunk. He calls Tessa “Sara,” for reasons that are not quite clear.

The kids slept late and I made a big smokin’ stack of Bisquick pancakes and we all had breakfast together. Then we took them all to the playground. Nick and Tess took turns riding his bike to the playground. There was Nick, riding down a side street with Tess running, tall and beautiful beside him, her feel getting in her way every once in a while. And I looked at Nick, pedaling away from me, with his goofy helmet teetering on his head and I thought, “This is his life.” It was an epiphany, like here he is, living his life with his babyhood friend running alongside him, in his neighborhood, where he has grown up.

It was another lovely day—absolutely clear and bright and the kids rode bikes on the tennis court. Daisy drew with chalk and Ian blazed around the court on his low slung three wheeler. He’d come whipping around a corner, smile, look at MZA and me and say, “See ya suckers!” Daisy fell on an asphalt curb and scared her self more than anything. I scooped her up and MZA kicked the curb and dutifully told it how bad it was.

The babies took a long nap, Sheila came to collect Tess and we deconstructed, then we puttered in the afternoon. I bought a Stouffer’s lasagna for dinner, for ease and crowd pleasin’ certainty.

Yeah, we’re coming up on Thanksgiving and even this dyed in the wool old crusty cynic must say I am thankful, grateful for my friends and my family, immediate and extended, I love y’all. I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving. Tucked in pockets all over the country, I feel like we are bound by such a lovely cord.

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