Friday, December 26, 2008

What I got for Christmas

Allie waits in the open window for her brothers to arrive for Christmas dinner. Robert carves a turkey in the kitchen eating as he goes. It was a really big turkey when I roasted it, but it dwindled before it reached the table. I managed corn bread stuffing, canned yams, mashed potatoes, caramelized onions and two pumpkin pies I purchased from Dali's. I had to do without seasonings I'm accustomed to back home, like sage. The variety of vegetables in Loreto has always been limited. If you're hoping for green peas, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts --ha!--think again. You'd better love peppers and calabacitas (Mexican squash) or the occasional cucumber because that's about all the green you can count on here at the mercados. Many folks drive to Constitution or La Paz for better variety and selection. We didn't have the time or interest in that this year.

We feel lucky to be all together for Christmas. With all the weather-related problems with Alaska Air and the travel advisories in the Midwest it was fortunate Allie's brothers got here at all. Many folks headed this way were delayed for days as the airlines worked out their problems. Our sons had a close call on the connection in L.A. when Alaska Air twice changed it's departure time.

Our boys are staying in another house which works out better for all our comfort. Plus, our older brought his fiancee. They just got engaged last week. She thought he was gifting her with a laptop when he asked her to close her eyes and hold out her hands. She stood there palms up while he slyly slipped a ring on her finger. (I hope they don't get annoyed I just told you all that little detail.) They are young, but sure. We're happy for them and, of course, we adore her and feel honored she wants to be part of our family. She may be thinking only of our son, but I know the bigger picture. She's taking on all of us. She's going to be part of us. I think about this every time I look at her across the dinner table. This is a young girl that somebody else lovingly cared for and raised who one December day finds herself at dinner with another family announcing she'll be joining them --indefinitely.

I ruminate on every possible variation of this theme all evening long. That she loves our son is no mystery to me. That she's joining with us, adding to us, enhancing us--all willingly--is what mesmerizes me. How can she know the full extent of her choice? I certainly didn't at her age. I didn't put thought into what import I had to Robert's family. I didn't spend time considering how I impacted them; I was caught up in myself and Robert. Only now, years later, am I seeing the view from the other side. It keeps feeling like an honor. Beau has a found a lovely girl. Maybe they think it's all about them, but somehow I feel like I've been given a beautiful gift.

No comments: