I feel a small but familiar tinge of dread as the car rolls up the driveway.
Breathing in the acrid stench of smoke as I enter the mudroom, I take off my coat while kids run to the door, into the door, and proceed to open the door.
Inside, some people still need to arrive, but some are already here. I try to help prepare things as best as I’m able (which isn’t much).
The attempt abandoned, I barely find a place to sit among everyone else. Somewhat surprisingly, I find myself more comfortable in my own skin than last time. The idle chatter flows more easily, and it all seems a bit less like a waste of time compared to last year.
The photo taking comes and goes, an affair I never bother with but have gradually come to see the value in.
We all sit around some more before it’s decided that we should eat. The cakes are swiftly dealt with by eager cameras and forks, and we all go back to sitting some more.
The kids are running wild. A dog walks by and people debate whether there is a cat or a cob of corn in its mouth.
And somewhere, among all of it, I look around. I see myself in past years, running around on the floor. I perhaps even see a glimpse of myself in future years, busy with the effort of enjoying the present and past in unison.
I look on, and a part of me never wants this moment to end.
So yeah, I had a family thing this past weekend.
It was… nice.