That’s where I fell off my bike when I was seven, right in front of that house. Our family didn’t know her at all, yet somehow the lady who lived there called my mom to come help me.
This is my old high school. We’d sometimes walk over to the mall after school. And my mom worked right in that building *nods upward as if to forehead point so both hands can stay on the wheel* there for a little while. The campus looks so small now, but it’s the right one; same rusted swings over there.
My grandpa — he was the patriarch — always made sure our family gatherings stayed PG, for the most part. He made sure we kept away from heated topics like politics, for everyone to stay in good spirits.
You are darling.
I couldn’t find the Life Savers book you said your parents always put in your stocking so I just got the regular rolls. I kept trying to find an excuse for you to need to go to CVS, so you needing a gift bag was perfect. I snuck *gestures as if discretely slipping merchandise on to a counter to a clerk* the candy and Snoopy ornament, and then those AA batteries because I like our inside jokes, when you weren’t looking.
The gifts you got for my parents are great, trust me. You booking a flight to spend Christmas with me — not to mention, my entire immediate and extended family you’ve never even met — is more than enough, okay?
I like that part where you wrote the line “excited to share our first Christmas together and delight in the possibility of future holidays…” in my card. I like you.
I love how I said “next Christmas” and you *pauses to formulate the rest of the sentence before continuing to speak* carried on with our conversation so calmly, you didn’t freak out or skip a beat.
We’ll have to stay longer next visit — leave a day or two extra — to take the train down to the city.