We are in the midst of the big school celebration. Hundreds of guests on campus. Special breakfasts, suppers, and today the packed holiday feast.
This is the first year, ever, that Jon will not be with us. I know children grow up and leave the nest, and most kids have missed family holidays before age 23. But it’s new to me, and makes me wistful. Except for the brief stretch when we lived far away, Jon has been part of this standing-room-only Thanksgiving meal since he was born.
Here he is at age two, in 1989.
For his first five years, the only issue was keeping him awake long enough to eat.
Until Jon was a teenager, he could and did fall asleep anywhere and sleep through anything. DH and I could take him to movies and stretch him out in the aisle with my jacket as a pillow and DH’s jacket as a blanket. He’d be unconscious before the first credits were over.
Once we couldn’t get a sitter in San Francisco and had to take him to an impromptu evening business meeting in a restaurant. Jon curled up on the banquette seating, put his head on my lap under the tablecloth, and snoozed through the meal as DH and I made conversation with our guest. Jon was eleven at the time.
Of course we all want our children to grow up and be happy and independent — not to mention 6’4″. On this Thanksgiving I am certainly grateful for those blessings. But at the same time I find myself deeply nostalgic for the days when we could hoist our boy on our shoulder and those little warm arms crept around our neck.