Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visiting the Dren

When I was in college, it was fashionable to shorten words to their last syllable. Whence, "za" for pizza; "zeeks" for physics; and "rents" for parents.

While only some of these back-end phrases caught on (blessedly), I'm recalling those days as I spend a week in Las Vegas, visiting my "dren" (my kids). In their presence, I inevitably drift into reverie about what I was doing when I was their age, or recalling my days as a rent with young kids—which mirrors where my son, Ceilee, is today.

Ceilee is fast approaching 31, which was my age when he was born. He has two children (my granddaughter Taivyn, and my grandson Connor) and it's a delight to spend a week with these two curious beings (of course, I get to go home on Tuesday—it's incomparably easier being grandparent).

My daughter, Jo, is 24-1/2, exactly the age I was back in 1974, when I got together with three friends to start Sandhill Farm. There are many milestones to remember.

I spent yesterday with Jo. Along with her partner, Peter, they hosted an eight-person Game Day that lasted from noon to midnight. Not counting a brief break for dinner (at the neighborhood Chipotle where Jo works), we indulged in an orgy of board games (which Ceilee's Mom, Annie, refers to as bored games). I played Hansa Teutonica (1x), Stone Age (2x), Resistance (2x), World Market (1x), plus Acquire (1x) as a nightcap. This afternoon, Jo & I moseyed back over to Ceilee & Tosca's where we managed a four-person game of Siedler: Cities & Knights before dinner. (I say "managed" because it takes a certain amount of logistical sophistication when you're playing a board game and simultaneously managing child care for a six-month old baby and a three-year-old recovering from bacterial infection—there were an "above-average" number of pauses to field what passes for crises among small children).

It was a lovely way to spend 28 hours—eight games and six Christmas presents later (one at Starbucks, two at Lee's Discount Liquor, and three at the Little Shop of Magic)—and it sets the stage for tomorrow's professional football extravaganza. If it isn't one game, it's many others.

Sunday, while we attempt to watch 14 NFL football games at my son's house (he has NFL Ticket, TiVo, and a 48-inch plasma TV), we'll simultaneously be making ribbon sandwiches, a Schaub family tradition that features four layers of bread and with three distinctive spreads in the middle. Yum.

Think of it as an interactive holiday, where the ghost of Holiday Past shares the kitchen (and TV set) with the ghost of Holiday Present. Thinking back to football Sundays where I watched games with my father (circa 1964) I realize I've been lucky enough to enjoy this particular form of domestic bonding from both ends of the worm hole of time.

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