The man and I are having our most social period since pandemic protocols began. I remember a morning last year when my husband and I were sitting at the dining table working, and he looked up and said, in effect, that the thing he missed most about Covid shutdowns was spontaneous gatherings with our kids and their loves, and also their friends, with talk and laughter flying around the room. This past week felt like a return to exactly that kind of socializing, with many of our favorite young people once again under our roof. We all assembled on Friday night to celebrate my son turning 30, which won't actually happen until tomorrow, but since everyone was in town, we seized the moment, ate cake, did tequila shots, sang happy birthday, enjoyed just being together again.
We have so much fun just sitting around the living room telling stories, allowing the talk to flow wherever it goes. It's easy and effortless once everybody arrives, though I sometimes have social anxiety beforehand if new people are in the mix. It always turns out okay, better than okay. This weekend, I was hosting a new friend of my daughter's for the first time. She was absolutely lovely, and I hugged her and told her she's welcome to return anytime. I should know by now that my children gravitate to warm, nonjudgmental people, and I don't need to worry so much about, oh, my broken-down house, and whether the new-to-me person will be comfortable.
The young folks went out and had their New York City experiences: brunch in Harlem, music on the steps of the Met, walks in Central Park, exploring Little Island, and a bachelorette party last night. It was great fun being part of the commotion as they got ready for the evening out, and highly amusing when they returned home after midnight, boisterously rhapsodizing over leftover pizza, which no one bothered to reheat.
They've all now left to return to their various locales—my son and his fiancee back to their apartment in Astoria; my daughter and her friend on the train headed back to Boston; and my niece and her husband on a plane back to Dallas, until November, when they'll be back for Thanksgiving. And now my husband and I will begin a period of watchfulness, because even though everyone masked up as they left the house and faithfully washed hands as soon as they returned, still, there were meals consumed in public places, and a Brooklyn night out with pre-wedding party goers (all vaccinated, but still), and a lot of talking and laughing and breathing the same air in our apartment. So now we wait and trust that our vaccines hold. Here are some more pictures: