I took a trip to have brunch with my step-nieces and nephews, mother, and stepfather. We arrived early and had to wait for the doors to open. I had the children join me in casting a “spell” to unbolt the door. We all waved our hands together and chanted, “Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Yackety Smackety!” Then we all cheered our victory as the door was unlocked from the inside by the manager.
During lunch, we caught up. I told my mother about a song, Fallingwater by Maggie Rogers, which I want to hear her sing because it is in the middle of her vocal range. I find the lyrics to be poetic and relatable.
My mother said she’d tried reading a few of my blog posts. I replied, “Sad, huh?” She joked that she was looking forward to the movie. I said she should play herself because “You have an uncanny way of capturing the essence of you. It’s like you really ‘get’ who you are.”
My niece Holly sat next to me. We played the games on her children’s placemat. She got frustrated with my efforts to let her win and kept stopping to explain to me the failed logic of my dot game strategy.
With a clearer understanding of Holly’s level of game theory knowledge, I taught her the trick to always winning tic-tac-toe. It was something my mother had taught me. Holly got it immediately. She’s a very clever girl. I, on the other hand, took longer to learn it because I wasted time arguing the details with my mother instead of listening. This is a skill I continue to work on.
At lunch, I pitched my suggestions for 2019, instead of me taking my nieces and nephews out. I prefaced it by saying that I knew my stepfather hated ongoing obligations and so he probably wouldn’t want to do it. I knew that because I’d tried many times to get him to commit to babysitting Constance on a monthly schedule instead of me booking him on a case-by-case basis months in advance. He babysat overnight on several occasions. He had stayed at my house and watched Constance last summer for several days when I went to Puerto Rico. They had a wonderful time together.
My pitch was that we should have a set day each month where we have family lunch together. I listed the benefits as they related to each of my siblings’ schedules. I suggested that it be the first Sunday of each month at noon at a place of my mother’s choosing. They agreed. I was delighted. I said I’d alert my brothers via a group text later. They are in too. It is nice to have something to look forward to.