. . . and they don’t text, email, post on my facebook page, invite me to their linkedIn network, tweet at me, instagramatic me, or send a carrier pigeon. despite all the advances in communications, twentysomething sons just don’t communicate with their moms. at least, this is what i’ve been advised.
i have a preflight ritual: as soon as i bolt away from the t.s.a. stormtroopers (uh, agents) i head for the bar, order a beer and text both my sons that the plane is about to take off and i love them. one of them almost always texts back “love you too” the other, meh, not so much.
some people say that if you’ve done your job well, then you WON’T hear from them. that they’re independent. i’m not so sure.
in any event, i was in st. louis to visit with facebook friend #327 daniel reyna. he invited me to his home on a sunday afternoon for a dinner he would be making. ordinarily, i wouldn’t meet a facebook friend for the first time in their home. but for daniel there were two important exceptional circumstances: he was inviting me to a family dinner and he has a limited comfort zone in which he operates without anxiety attacks. also, i had a chaperone.
the reyna family is second generation mexican: mrs. reyna, daniel’s mom, has nine siblings and her husband has a large family as well. the reynas have five children including daniel and his twin brother david. every sunday the reynas get together for an afternoon dinner. while cousins are welcome, the five siblings and their significant others and children are the core of the meal. the siblings take turns hosting and each host is allowed to invite an extra guest. i was honored to be daniel’s guest. and i was intrigued as to what he would make for us. i was ushered into a kitchen and met the family. the reynas are a boisterous group, five different conversations going on at once, and so many times was i asked if i wanted something to drink and ended up with three beers, a glass of wine and a soda in front of me.
i had been eating st. louis’ favorite specialty–fried ravioli–for two days. this dish is not exactly atkins diet material but this and a double i.p.a. is what i’ll be asking for when i’m on death row and the warden asks “what’s that last meal going to be?”
a small light meal of an antipasto platter, followed up by pulled pork, roast chicken, barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, spanish rice, cole slaw, bread, baked beans, and daniel’s twin david had made chocolate pie and apple pie. whoops, i forgot the louisiana bundt cake and ice cream sandwiches.
in addition to the reynas getting together for sunday meals, they also host a family olympics in the summer with egg tosses, races, and a pie eating contest. they have a christmas talent show for each other. they go to mexico every year–although daniel doesn’t go with because of his anxiety. and they invent their own games, one of which–spoons–they tried to teach me.
i told mrs. reyna that she was so lucky to have her children with her and she said “the best present a mom can give her children is a family.” she is absolutely right.
daniel was a bit shy about having his picture put in a blog post. i never post pictures that people don’t want me to. so i keep the picture in my cellphone. it was late when i had to say goodbye and i didn’t really say goodbye. i said au revoir, until we see each other again. even if it’s on facebook.
later that day, i was on facebook and noticed a status update of one of my sons on my newsfeed. with all the tools of communication, i think it just makes us MORE aware of wanting what the reynas have every sunday afternoon.