Let's hope that my first try at this blogging stuff is not as taxing to readers as the IRS on this least favorite of dates.
In any case, this April 15th has proven to be better than most. For starters, taxes aren't due for two more days. And for those of us who consistently push that deadline to its limits, an automatic extension is welcome. And even better, I actually got to eat a warm meal with my family.
The routine of the last few months has been a cold plate of food on an otherwise barren table at about 9 or 10pm, with kids snoring and Ruth either feeding Will in the other room or hurrying around using the kid-free minutes to their fullest. She always seems torn between two mutually exclusive desperations: meaningful contact with an adult and clearing the swath of destruction left in a 3-year-old boy's wake. Sometimes I win and she sits for a few minutes with me while I nuke my spaghetti. Othertimes the magnitude of the mess is too much to ignore. In anycase, that table sometimes feels sorta lonely. That's what I get for turning up late.
Tonight Ruth called to see if there was any chance of me making dinner (showing up, not preparing the meal, as she was forced to explain to her obnoxious husband). She used to call every day to ask that question, but has learned the futility of asking. Today being a weekend, maybe it would be different. I don't know if she was more annoyed or surprised when I walked in the door a few minutes later, despite allowing her to believe that I was hours away still. I was actually in the car on my way home when she called.
Dinner was a fabulous spread of pan-seared salmon with ginger lemon butter, spiced couscous, spinach salad, Rhodes rolls, and roasted asparagus. We always eat well, but this was above and beyond. I suspect it was Ruth's best effort at letting know what I've been missing when I fail to show for mealtime. Duly noted.
I also noted some other thing's I've been missing. There was a crescendo chorus of pig-oinking by the Lizzy and Zoe, an expert dissection of the asparagus that was a little too bitter for Zoe to eat, and a classic loss of sanity by John who never gets his nap on Sundays with our 1-4 church schedule. Along with these little doses of nonsense, there were huge doses of laughter, conversation, comments and questions. The time with my family was far more delicious and filling than the great meal on the table. Funny how the simplest, most basic things in life become the most delicious when we haven't had them for a while (like air, sleep, a restroom... or a chance to tease Lizzy). I quite consciously enjoyed a heaping serving of the companionship of my dear family. Not too bad for April 15th.