150 Days

Day 26
February 22, 2010, 2:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Occasionally my parents have the urge to throwback to the days when they had young children and have a true ‘family’ dinner. It’s a great idea. With me living under their roof, it becomes an even easier idea to follow through. Unfortunately, my brother lives on the other side of the continent. His attendance to a family dinner is crucial for the experience to truly be reenacted. Not only does he live thousands of miles away, but he is also a busy guy and can’t easily fly seven hours to sit beside me at the dinner table.  However, at my house nothing is impossible. Tenacity and persistence flow through the veins of my father and he always finds a way.

As I arrived for dinner, my parents had all dressed up. They do this when we have company, are celebrating a holiday, or have a grown-up family dinner. I always forget, and find myself somewhat ashamed of the navy jogging pants I’m sporting. I hear my parents talking with excitement over the sound of wine glasses clinking. There is jazz music playing. The fine china is out on the table. The smell of some cooking animals fills the room. My parents are sitting across from each other and staring at the head of the table. There, sitting at the head of the table is a small laptop computer. I’m get that weird feeling in my stomach, like this is one of those moments that will always be remembered. As I approach the table to assume my place, I notice that there is a face on the laptop. It fills the screen and is interacting with my parents. It’s my brother.

My father discovered Skype. Never one to allow anything to get in front of him and his family, including geography and time zones, he has patched my brother in live to the supper table to assume a digital seat at the head of the table.  We all begin to eat, except my brother as he is at least four hours away from his dinner hour, and engage in social banter. My brother’s head rests just to the left of the carrots and the bread basket. I’m pretty sure he’s watching television on his couch, but entertains my parents with the occasional ‘pass the potatoes’ joke. As is tradition in my household, my father has set up the camera to take a family photo. The lighting is adjusted so that red-eye is reduced and that any glare off my brothers screen face is avoided. My dad runs up to the tripod, hits the timer, runs back and assumes the position beside my brother. We all put our forks down, look up to the camera and say cheese.

Only 124 days left.


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