Sunday, November 25, 2007

thanksgiving 2007

This was a nice Thanksgiving, wasn't it? Thanksgiving Day itself was the warmest I can remember it ever being, so warm that we actually were able to walk without coats across the park to the restaurant for lunch. (Except for that one year, my family doesn't really cook for Thanksgiving. Maybe because the secret ingredient of any cooking masterpiece is "love," and we are just cold, heartless people. Cold heartless people who eat at a RESTAURANT for Thanksgiving.) You may remember that last year didn't go so well (Cal never even made it to the restaurant, and then we almost got killed when our cab skidded at an intersection and almost ran into a traffic light), but this year Cal is older, and his nap schedule a little more pliable, so we dressed him up, packed a bag full of amusements, and hoped for the best.

And, you know, it was a success. The amusements helped of course (particularly the baggie full of toy trains and cars, which kept him going for at least an hour, not unlike at home), but I think that the bulk of the credit goes to Jean Georges Vongerichten and company. In years past, I believe that the implicit rule of the restaurant was that children were not allowed in the main dining room. We were relying on family-centric Thanksgiving vibes and goodwill towards a reasonably well-behaved kid to get us through the lunch, but I never could have predicted this exchange:

(Taking orders)
And for the young man?

Oh, you know, we'll just give him bits to eat off of our plates.

Would he maybe like some nice chicken? Or a plate of penne with butter?

(Scouring the menu)
I...didn't see that...

We would make it special for him.

Really? Well, if it's not too much trouble...

Not too much trouble at all.

Well...the chicken, then. Thanks!

Twenty minutes later, they brought over to Cal a gigantic plate of crispy, golden pomme frites and these gorgeously breaded and seasoned chicken tenders. Seriously, these were literally the best fries I've ever had. You just had to see this scene--it's a really fancy restaurant, so the fact that they would basically construct a kid's menu for us from scratch was really sweet. Cal was delighted of course, and ate a ton. Probably the only thing that would have made him happier is if the chicken and fries were served in a basket with some red and white checked paper on the bottom. But probably that would have been a bit much.

* * *

I had to work on Friday, but Saturday morning we set off for Baltimore to spend the rest of the weekend (OK, Saturday afternoon) with Joe's sister and her three kids. We had a great time, especially Cal. I wish we could get all those kids together more often, it's nice seeing them all play together so nicely, having fun what with their youthful exuberance and whatnot. Almost wants to make one to nod solemnly and make sage, sweeping statements about childhood and the transient nature thereof, et cetera, but for one thing--I am not MY DAD.

Even the part of the weekend that I was dreading the most, that being the drive back from Baltimore to New York on Sunday morning (I figured if Wednesday was the busiest traveling day of the year, surely the Sunday after Thanksgiving must be the second busiest traveling day, all those travelers needing to flock back from whence they came) but it actually wasn't that bad at all. Four hours door-to-door. I did, however, manage to break (and yes, this is the proper medical term for it) my ASS BONE, slipping on the steps to the basement at Joe's sister's house. I misjudged the width of the first step, and that, coupled with my tractionless bare feet and the fact that I apparently have no self-preservation reflexes AT ALL led to me ending up halfway down the stairs on my back with a broken ass. It's not quite my coccyx, this I have ascertained. In fact, if you will indulge for a moment the fact that I have been palpating my own ass for the better part of the past 12 hours, it feels like I have bruised one of the landmarks on the sacrum that we use to do caudal blocks. Yes, I have bruised my sacral cornua. Is this possible? I smell a case report!

Anyway, hope you had a fun Thanksgiving too.