We went to dinner at my dad's house yesterday. We, that's Lailielle and I, not in the picture, brought a bowl of homemade biscuits with us. A good time was had by all. We laughed about each other for being the strange creatures which we are. No one escaped ridicule by the discerning eye of the family memory. There's nothing like a good teasing or roasting to liven up a family gathering, and being healthy enough to enjoy being poked fun of was something to be grateful for.
My father's consumption of pie became a both a mock shaming and a persistent goading by both placing the pies closer to him and labeling him a sugar addict for eating them. I was reminded of the year when upon finding the carcass of a porcupine in the yard, I exclaimed a useful purpose for the corpse and took it home in a cardboard box. When pressed this year for an explanation of what had happened to the porcupine, I could not recall. I felt blessed to be among people who could still look to me fondly knowing that I had a history of misplacing dead porcupines.
The holiday was a much appreciated break from work. I had to fire someone this week. It had been a long time coming, and having given many, many chances to improve, the time finally came. It wasn't easy, and it didn't go smoothly. So, I'm grateful to have this pocket of space where I'm reminded that in family, there is unconditional love. I'm grateful for forgiveness and compassion, two tools which really propel me forward beyond the bounds of my own imagination. I'm also grateful for boundaries.
I used to think I was incomparably clever. Now, I feel as though I've seen the limits of clever like a satellite view of children in a corn maze. I never want to be clever again. After dinner I helped by washing some dishes and cookware. I brought the 'fine china'(which actually came from Japan) down to the basement with my dad. Together we put the plates back in their cardboard box, with all the corrugated cardboard sheets separating each plate. This, I reflected, was such an 'old person' thing to do. While we were down there, we spent some time together talking about family and business and family in business. It felt good.
Today we are back to work. Nothing seems quite as simple as it did yesterday. Though, it doesn't seem as complicated as it did the day before.