Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where there is pasta, there is love.

I have this pasta theory. If you cook on a regular basis, you know it is usually much easier to make things for a group than to cook for 1. Pasta is simply put a meal for a family...even if there are no relatives at your table. It's hard to not sit down with a oversized serving bowl and not expect a troop to be gathered around. It begs the question, did the Italians make the pasta or did the pasta make the Italians? Well, I guess this could go for any other noodle loving nationality, but you get my point.

I went to dinner at the A's tonight. First off, when it comes to any kind of visit to the A's, if you didn't come with food, you leave with a fully belly, and if you came with food, you leave with lunch for the next day or a plate for the family that missed the trip over. Tonight, I was part of the pasta, salad, bread, cake, and ice cream bearing party. Dinner with the A's, in all affectionate terminology, is like having dinner at the circus but with much better food and less elephant poop. There are very few places outside of my revolving front door of a home, where I feel home. In that thought, I realize that there are masses of people in this world that have no where they can feel that way. I am truly blessed.

Back at the A's, as you walk through the house, you're greeted by the abundant family of 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 child with seemingly immeasurable energy, 4 sisters, 2 "young" parents, 2 "old" parents, and 1 new person on the way. Mind you, there are still two siblings with prior plans who were missing from this equation. Two of those four sisters at dinner tonight are special in every sense of the word. Catie and Annie are simply wonderful. Where they may seem fragile and to the untrained eye, tragic, to really know these girls and this family is a blessing. I do believe that these girls are the beating heart of this household.

Although I can't imagine what it must feel like to not be in control of my body, I don't give either of the girls my pity, only my attention. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always understand what Catie has to tell me but I listen for whatever I can pick up and tonight, I made her laugh. That was pretty special. Now I know I make a lot of people laugh on a regular basis, my life is a comedy and I am the punchline, but this laugh from Catie...this was something special. Catie is a complete sweetheart and a pure joy. She is soon to be an auntie and her dad, who is the major influence of my chosen law enfocment career path and one of the moral compases in my life, is going to be a grandpa. "Hey Catie, you know what?" I ask. "I'm gonna start calling your dad 'Gramps'! How's that for a name, huh?" She responded by throwing her head back and letting loose a loud all consuming laugh. What a smile that kid has.

Then there is Annie, who greeted me at the door hanging off the banister in a big girl diaper singing to the cat. What a sight. What it is to be a kid. For the next two hours, I found myself stealing glances at Annie's mom mouthing the words "where do these kids come up with this?" Annie, for her lack of sight, remains every bit a little girl and then some. In my brief visit, we went out to the "igloo" in the backyard, played with the dogs, met all the cats, and played Barbies and then played American Girls. I was invited to a 11 year old birthday party, asked why the cow crossed the road, and called a hairy baboon with a purple butt! Annie is full of affection and always finds a way to give me a hug or lay down on my lap.

So you see just about every time I spend here in this blessed house of cop stories, American girl dolls, baby tales, shared family recipies, and baboon butts, it is always over dinner and any other way just wouldn't seem right. When I think of pasta dinner, I think of the A's. When I think of the A's, I know that the saying "Home is where your heart is" is really true. Simply put, where there is pasta, there is love.

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