By some fluke of health and scheduling, all six of us were home the other day.
Eric was sick and there was no moving him. Adam had the day off and was sleeping in. Amy didn’t have to go into work until the afternoon, so she came over.
"Let’s go to the Café for breakfast!" – was Amy’s fabulous plan.
Lucy and Jonathan started the whoop-hollering and along with Amy went to jump on Adam to wake him up. She gave him ten minutes to get ready, but reduced it to two because she didn’t want to wait any longer. It reminded me of how, when I was growing up, my sisters and I would wake up my brother with a plan to go do something. Continuity, I thought to myself.
The Café has a full name. It is technically the Café des Riches. We have just never been able to pronounce its actual name, nor have we ever met anyone who can do it well. ("Is it pronounced, ‘reesh‘ or ‘reechay‘ or just ‘riches‘?) We have been going there since Adam was a baby, which means we have been going there for 20 years.
It also occurs to me that I have all four of my offspring with me. This has become a rarer and rarer occurrence since the older ones have gone out into the world to make their own lives. These days we have to schedule things to do together. But here was this moment. It fell from the sky and onto my lap.
All four of them were chatty and laughing. They compared which ones have mom’s eyes (Adam). They decided who had the same lips (Amy & Jon). We laughed at how Lucy & Jon can sometimes look like twins, even though they are 13 and 10.
Then they started the "where will we be in ____ years?" game. Amy usually initiates it and it goes something like this….
"Do you realize that next year Lucy will be a freshman in high school and Adam will be 21?" (I feel my heart give a little squeeze)
"Can you believe Jonathan will be driving in 6 years?’ (the squeeze gets tighter) They continue like this for a while – how old will they all be when Jon is driving, or when Lucy graduates high school…
Then Amy says, "In ten years, I will be 33, Adam will be 30, Lucy will be 23, and Jonathan will be 20." (mercifully, they don’t calculate my age) "Let’s come back to this very same place and do this very same thing in 10 years. " Then they pinky-swear – which of course is a sacred promise . (My heart is now squeezing out of my tear ducts)
Instead of doing the forward calculations, I do the backward ones: Just 5 years ago, just 10 years ago, just 20 years ago… When I think it feels like just yesterday, I truly mean it.
But then I think of continuity. I think of family. I think how lovely it is that they all like each other and get along so well. I hope to make that 10 year reunion at the Cafe in 2016. I think it would be nice to have spouses and grandchildren there. I think I will make tshirts for them that say: Cuban-American version 3.0. – see www.cubatogo.com
I’m so pleased with how they are growing up.
(Jonathan 1 – Lucy 3 – Adam 10 – Amy 13. Disneyland 1996)