Monday, February 15, 2010
Today is a day off, we in Canada get to celebrate something called 'family'. This is a word that I have some problems with after it became a political rather that relational word. Attaching the word 'family' to the word 'values' ends up, in my mind, destroying both. But nonetheless, I honour the 'sense' and the 'actuality' of family.
I like the sense of 'family' I get with the team at work when we get together to meet and eat. I like the intimacy of 'family' when I chat with friends on email, over the phone, or blessed be, with a cup of tea. I love the idea that there are those 'family' upon whom I can depend, who I can call when I'm bored, who will do nice things for me just because they can. I think that the more family, that of blood and of choice, you have in your life, the better things are.
This weekend we were with Mike, Marissa, Ruby and Sadie, so we got a huge walloping dollop of family. We did all the normal things and had a terrific time. Ruby is such a 'girl' and I just love watching her just simply be as feminine as she can possibly be. She protests wearing trousers and over 80 percent of her wardrobe is pink. She thinks that red is just pink out of control and that green is envious of pink. At the mall she got her face painted and had a lovely pink butterfly grace her brow, she was in girlie heaven.
That evening we all went out for dinner but there were hour long waits at every restaurant we tried so we went back to the hotel and ordered in a whack of food. To kill time Ruby offered to draw us pictures. We all called out ideas and she sat there for a second and then said, 'That's too many pictures,' pause, 'I'll draw Joe.' So with tongue firmly placed in the corner of her mouth she set about doing her drawing. She never looked up from the paper, knowing precisely the Joe she wanted to draw. Her drawing was clearly Joe. Now this was helped by the fact that Joe was the only person in the room with a mustache.
As parents do, they worried about my feelings being hurt by not having my portrait done. I tried to assure them, and Ruby, that I didn't need a picture done. But Ruby, herself, decided that it wouldn't be fair and she settled the argument by saying, 'I do Dave now.' And again, she set about doing her picture. I wasn't sure, not having a mustache, how she would distinguish me from the others. I figured the wheelchair would probably be the identifier. When she was done, she brought the picture over to me. I was glad I knew it was me from her announcement but, frankly, I was confused by the idea of having a head the same size as my belly. Yikes, no wonder my neck gets sore some times.
Then Mike looked at the picture and said, 'But Ruby, where is Dave's wheelchair?' Something I'd thought myself.
She looked at him and said, frustrated, 'Dad, I drew Dave.'
Yes, what I love about families is that they see the real, completely real, you.