My daughter, my niece, and I all have the same spring break so yesterday we had a spring break lunch with my parents, who are retired and have all the time in the world for lunches out. With the thought of spring in mind, we had intended to drive out to the lake to a restaurant that has big windows overlooking waves and wildflowers. But since it was cold, windy, and snowing like crazy, we opted instead for lunch at a restaurant in the next town over, a cosy place with a fireplace and big comfy booths.
My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter talked about her classes and her plans to spend a semester in London next year. Schoolteacher Niece, who is in graduate school in the Big City Unlike Any Other City, talked about how much she loves living in the city. We drilled her with questions about her new boyfriend, whom none of us have met yet. My parents reminisced about their experiences in the Big City. We talked about family members not at the table: Boy in Black was just awarded a full merit scholarship for college (apparently going to an interview dressed as Johnny Cash did not hurt him at all), and of course we had to talk about how smart he is, and how handsome, and how wonderful. I come from a family who believe in bragging about other family members, to each other and to anyone who will listen.
We talked about plans for the summer, we talked about what gorgeous hair Shaggy Hair Boy has, we talked about the trip my boys took with my husband in February, we talked about Blonde Niece and how well she has adjusted to school. We ate salads, sandwiches, and french fries, then lingered over coffee and herbal tea. My parents joked about how cheap it is to take three vegetarians to lunch. In the parking lot, I hugged Schoolteacher Niece goodbye, and she promised that I would get to meet the new boyfriend in May. My parents drove my daughter home, while I left for an appointment in another part of town. I knew my mother would call this morning to say how much she enjoyed the lunch and to tell me again how wonderful my daughter is – so poised, so confident, so articulate. Some things I never get tired of hearing.