No matter how much I worried I was growing apart from my kids (or vice versa), there was still time. I picked Charlotte up after work and asked where she wanted to go for dinner. We drove to Issaquah and picked an unassuming, cozy-looking Greek restaurant with a name I couldn’t make out. She ordered a Coke and a salad with a side of pita and when it came, removed the hot pepper from her salad and put it on the table. They had two options for dessert and we picked the baklava (her first time), and she ate most of it though it was rich and flaky, and required a cutting knife, which she managed well. She tried to braid her hair but lost patience, and I refrained from correcting her, re: playing with her hair at the table. So many of our dining arguments were triggered by that, my corrections, the control thing. When we got home, we went to our separate rooms for down time on our devices. I sent pictures of the champagne sabering to a couple people, and reflected on the day.
A colleague brought in his Chambong set and the bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte I gave him for his birthday. He’d been saying we should saber a bottle sometime, and demonstrated the technique on a whiteboard. You hold the bottle by the underside, remove the foil and cage, then give it a good, even stroke down the neck, with a sword. The force of the cork ejecting breaks the collar so pieces of glass actually travel with the cork when it pops. It’s how Napoleon did it after battle, and we were close to wrapping a project, so there you go.
Seven of us met in the employee parking lot by the picnic table and shared the Chambong glasses, pretty much shooting it. Jeff brought a sword that was more Arabic than French looking, curved, designed for chopping and slashing, with a decorative tassel. Then we climbed the stairs back up, feeling both buzzed and crestfallen we had to go back to work, only 11:30. It was my seven-month anniversary at the new job, and while most of my colleagues drink at the office on Fridays, it was my first time, same as my boss, and we high-fived each other at our desks then returned to work.
Dawn took Lily to the Twenty One Pilots concert in Tacoma and didn’t get home until 1. Saturday, we went to our friends Chris and Kelly’s for Friendsgiving, and in the morning Kelly updated us on her sister-in-law, a rare form of cancer that attacks the small intestines, how unimaginable and terrible it must be for her family.
The four of us went out to brunch, just Dawn and me, and the kids, finally getting out as a family like we hoped. And then we ended the meal deciding Charlotte and I probably needed to go to family therapy, and I thought about it again on Monday morning, driving in to work.
And then in the morning I got up to write and saw Charlotte’s homework by the lamp, it said Social Studies Reflection Packet, Unit One: The First People. A mishmash about the Europeans coming to America, timed around Thanksgiving, probably. Admiring Charlotte’s precise handwriting, how they unfurl like that…me scanning for misspellings, thinking I should spend more time to go through this with her, tonight.