There could have been no better way to end the weeklong terrain of all work, no play. Jason and my Little One were in town—with their Little One.

I came home last night to what could only be described as a Jewish Norman Rockwell landscape. Carrie stood aproned, and, traipsing through the chicken-fragranced kitchen I noticed a table set wondrously for Shabbos. ‘Twould be a night to remember.

Stace walked in first, about 5:30. Then Bones and the baby.

Truth is, I hadn’t quite unwound from a week of tension. Not that I was the only one worn. Jason sat resting, having driven all day. And Lucy? She’d risen early, missed her nap, and the only thing keeping her up was (perhaps) the tacit fear of Carrie’s mutt Rusty.  Good news, though—Leesa kept Luce busy…and awake.

But then we ate. And we talked. And we caught up. And we played.

I love the way my kids just fit. In some ways Stace and Jace are so alike and in others they just…fit.

“Let’s pretend,” Rooney said after dinner. “Let’s pretend that Jason and I just met today and I’m bringing him home to meet you for the first time”.
“OK”, said I, not losing stride.
(My sense is that never for a second did my Chicago Pride think we wouldn’t play along. Fantasy? Make believe? Even at 63 I consider this my strong suit!)

So we engaged. She spoke of picking him up in an airport; I asked where they would sleep (and told her it would be in bad taste to stay on East Groveland— that I barely knew the Leimsieders), and all-the-while as Jason smiled Carrie sat rolling her eyes, riveted, loving it.

Not that the entire night was nonsense. Hardly. For the first time, frankly, I was able to actually understand what my daughter does for a living.

“Dad,” do you even ‘get’ what I do?” (She knew the answer: It’s not that I don’t care. It’s my mindset. Just give me headlines and let me know all’s OK).
“I’m a concept person,” I reminded. “Not a detail guy”.

But we sat down, we did. The four of us, (Lucy having gone to sleep post-dinner). And she told me…slowly…about her “space”, and how she was in the middle of an industry-wide revolution…

—And vibrantly, the spill of confidence all over, my daughter shined.

“For the first time, Dad”, she told me, “I don’t have to be full of shit to do my job”.
“But you’re good at being full of shit,” I reminded.
“I know,” she nodded, “But this is better”.

(I could see that).

I saw my baby, a woman in motion, breaking into the stride of her life.

We laughed and loved and toyed last night. The four of us. Speaking little of the past and some of the future, we eyed mostly the present. It was special.

On a night that could have curtailed, the action sustained. At a time when they might have gone home, they stayed. With a second wind, Jace programmed podcasts. Absent pressures of time, Stace spoke with Carrie. We melded, as always…as family.

Oh, there was the typical talk about a weekend out west. Autumn’s slate nearly full, we’d be threading a needle, AND WOULD, to hit Chitown. Still, what with one wedding, two weeks of play performance and three grandkids’ birthdays all in the next four months—not to mention the Bone Marrow Foundation Walk for Team Stuie (Long Island), bi-monthly schleps with Aunt Helen….and…and…

But we’ll get it done, we said.

It was teasing ten when we went upstairs for the night. I’d kissed the kids, hugged them goodbye, but was still holding on to the moment.

“You know,” I told Carrie, as we readied for bed, “Stacy really does right by me. We need to get out there.”

“We will,” she smiled.

“It’s more than you It’s more than me
Whatever dreams we have they’re for the family”

(Krieger, Eyen from “Dreamgirls”)


  1. alan wieder says:

    Wonderful Post

    But! You are the only person in North America that refers to Chicago ‘out west.’

  2. Up From Dysfunction says:

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply