To be a baby elephant must be wonderful. Surrounded by a loving family 24 hours a day…. I think it must be how it ought to be, in a perfect world. ~Daphne Sheldrick
Boy, how quickly the present turns into the past. Of course, tis the season of mad rushes, Holiday parties, and cheer in all forms. After writing my post yesterday A Christmas Tree Adventure, it made me thing about this past Thanksgiving.
While hunting with Dad over the last couple weeks, I heard him say, “Thanksgiving is the best Holiday.” Too true old man, too true! That is, when it refers to food and family mealtime. Thanksgiving is the time to stop, if only for a moment, and give thanks and share in good grub. In fact, each Holiday has a particular essence that makes each one truly special. The best for the soul is Easter, the best for thrill and uneasiness is Halloween, the best for outdoor cooking and celebration is the Fourth of July and the best for giving and showing kindness is Christmas. Not to say good intentions and kindness should be eliminated the rest of the year, but it’s nice to see good aspects heightened during Holidays.
I can honestly say this past Thanksgiving was one of the best. Not because of work or the food or anything so trivial, nope, it was because of Kyle. I’ve said it when he was little, and it still holds true today, that little boy has permanently changed my life and my way of thinking about what is really important. His presence alone brings such comfort and love it’s almost intoxicating.
Being a teenager, sixteen to be exact, he doesn’t take much time for us and certainly not me. Those days of us hanging out and having fun, and being an important influence in his life seem to be a memory, or at least that’s what I thought.
Dad and I got back from deer hunting in New York on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Kyle graced us with his presence Wednesday night all the way into Thursday midday, when he was instructed to leave (not by me) to continue Thanksgiving celebrations elsewhere. That’s been the split for the last couple of years. Not much excitement during that time, but I loved every minute of it. Kyle helped set the table, he made the traditional punch and sorted through the burnt dinner rolls. (He actually gave the burnt tops to the dogs and eat the edible bottoms.) That was all him. I’ll give him kudos for creativity and not wasting.
As always, I use the time to open up the conversation to make plans for the near future. I try to guarantee me some Kyle time. Usually when I suggest anything, Kyle shrugs his shoulders and politely brushes me off. That’s okay, I’m always going to ask and show Kyle he’s important to me.
This time was different. When I asked Kyle about going snowboarding, he actually seemed, interested. He did chuckle and comment, “We need snow first.” Very true buddy! I told him if he wants, we can invite his friend Duncan to join us. Kyle’s response? “Okay.” That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but on the contrary, it was a huge breakthrough. It was a sign my old Kyle was coming back to me. I was told it was going to happen, but I didn’t really believe it until that moment.
To get a little greedy and to push my luck further, I asked Kyle if he had plans Thanksgiving weekend and if he wanted to go to the movies. He said, “Umm, okay.” I was floored! I asked him if he got to see Thor: Ragnarok, assuming he did, to find out he did not. Hot dog! I really miss being the one to share those movie experiences with Kyle. That used to be our thing, among other things.
During dinner, Nicole, Kyle and myself discussed general plans for the weekend. While I wanted Kyle to follow through with the tentative outline, I had been down that path before when he changed his mind and blow me off. I almost didn’t want to get my hopes up, yet I was excited.
To my surprise, Kyle went shopping with Nicole on Friday and was at my parent’s house Friday night. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to hold my breath thinking he was going to ask to return home early the next day. Still I was ecstatic.
God does answer prayers. Ultimately, Kyle stayed until Sunday late day. Can you believe it? We had Kyle of his own free will from Friday late afternoon until Sunday late afternoon, like old times.
Saturday, Nicole, Kyle and myself went to the movies to watch Thor: Ragnarok and then right after we stayed to watch Justice League. It was a Marvel DC adventure. We had a truly wonderful time. So much so, that our time together has stayed with me and sparked an interest for me to write about. Besides loving Thor, which so did Kyle and Nicole, we really enjoyed each other’s company without incidence. It was one of the best day’s ever and unbeknownst to me, it was about to get better.
Kyle showed us his mad driving skills by taking over the wheel every time we got into Nicole’s beast. He’s definitely getting the hang of driving around other drivers.
It was about 6:30 pm on Saturday by the time we got back to my parent’s house. As soon as we walked in the door, Kyle decided he wanted to play board games. Really? He hasn’t played us board games in years, let alone being the one to suggest them. He didn’t retreat to his room, or get sucked into his phone. He wanted to engage with us. Bonus! Kyle played me a game of chess waiting for Nicole to play a board game. Naturally, Kyle won. It was a good game, even though he totally crushed me. I definitely need practice. This Christmas it’s on like Donkey Kong.
After the game playing, we watched some television with the old folks before retiring for the evening. As always, I asked Kyle to join me for church and he again politely declined. One day, I’ll get him back without it being a Holiday.
Kyle was really good all weekend and a true delight to have around. I miss my little man, who is slightly taller than me now. Like I said, it was a Thanksgiving blessing, one that wasn’t planned but was appreciated immensely. That boy really surprises me, in a good way.
On a side note, one day I hope to be about to freely take pictures without Kyle spazzing.