Dear Future Daughter or Son,
The first major holiday since we have become socially pregnant has passed: Thanksgiving. I thought that this would be a wonderful opportunity to write you and share with you how wonderful your father’s (Matt’s) family is and informally introduce you to some of them.
Thanksgiving started around noon when your father and I arrived at your cousin, Jane’s, home. Jane welcomed us outside the house along with her son David. David helped grab a few dishes that we brought and Jane helped your grandmother, Jan, up the stairs into the house. You father and I followed behind carrying more dishes, and your Grandfather, Rick, in tow.
Once inside, we were greeted by your great aunts, Elaine and Pam. Mary, a family friend, was there to receive us, along with Jane’s daughter, Lauren. Lauren, as per usual, took our coats as Jane handed everyone a heavy handed mimosa. You father and I retired to the living room where Jane’s husband, Chris, entertained us with several inappropriate stories. This year’s topic was on the two types of people: those who poop in public bathrooms and those that don’t. This led to several hilarious anecdotes. David, who is a great actor, is never far from the spotlight and shipped in several of his own experiences, with Lauren (she does not tend to compete for the spotlight, nevertheless maintains a biting wit) interjected with well-timed jabs at her brother.
Chris, David, Lauren, your aunt Becca (Matt’s sister), Dean (her boyfriend), Matt and myself sat at the “kid’s table.” As you have probably already surmised, Matt does not come from a very large family. But what they lack in numbers does not mean they lack in love. Chris’s smoked turkey was amazing, as per usual, and so was the rest of the food.
As per tradition we played a game of Clue after dinner. And as per tradition, Matt won. Lauren, your Aunt Becca and I engaged in a little impromptu ABBA singalong (Matt hates ABBA, so he was absent from our melodic shenanigans).
Dessert was awesome. Your Aunt Becca had gone to culinary school, so pretty much any dessert she makes is amazing. (I will be taking tips from her when making all of your future birthday cakes.)
After dinner Dean, Aunt Becca, Matt and I returned to your Grandmother and Grandfather’s house to play video games and sneaking leftovers.
Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving, Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt Becca, Jane, Chris, David, Lauren, you Father and I go out to eat and then go bowling. Unfortunately, Jane’s family had to cancel for some reason, so we went out to eat at Falbo’s, a local dive. They seriously have the best pizza and wings.
I will say, it was a shame to not see Lauren drop a bowling ball and watch it roll down the alley at three miles an hour and still end up winning every game of bowing we play. (There is also something satisfying about watching all of David’s dramatic reactions as he gets his butt handed to him by his understated younger sister). There’s always next year.
To help us get in the holiday spirit, but without risking overdoing it, your father loves listening to Fleet Foxes. There is something about the acoustics that makes it seem like they are playing in an icy cave. So you can see what I’m talking about, here is a video (I would have it playing while you watch the slideshows to get the REAL effect):
Another tradition that your father and I have is stopping by Nemacolin. Nemacolin is a very ritzy resort in PA. It’s the kind of resort people who own planes go to. Your father and I like to walk around and look at the Christmas decorations, eat a light lunch at their tavern, and overhear the rich people talking about the scandalous flaw in a design or the travesty of having to wait 20 minutes for one’s driver to pick them up. It’s kind of fun to pretend that we one of the financially elite (but not in a Mrs. Bucket kinda way- that’s a reference to an old British television show called “Keeping Up Appearances.” Your father and I love British television, so chances are we will subject you to it when you’re old enough to understand appreciate dry humor).
I wouldn’t normally discuss our actual ride home from your Grandparents’ house, but it was quite amazing. On the day that we went to dry home, freezing rain was in the forecast. It hadn’t rained in Pennsylvania, however, it must have in Maryland. On our way home, we watched fog spill over the mountains like dry ice. As we drove, it was like we were driving through the seasons. In PA, there were bright autumn leaves and then we seemed to drive across some imaginary line and all the trees were encased in ice. Fog and mist seemed to appear out of nowhere. There was so much fog in some places that it looked like Bob Ross erased the top, and sometimes even the middle, of one of his scenic paintings (Bob Ross was a legend. He was an artist with epic hair who taught people how to paint on television. In fact your Grandfather, my side, learned to paint from him. This is especially notable since your grandfather is color blind. That’s also why he won’t be the one teaching you your colors).
It was so beautiful that your father (Matt) tried to take pictures as I drove. At some point, I even pulled over so that we could take pictures and walk across a bridge that connected both sides of the highway so that we could take pictures. (Of course this was not the wisest thing as the entire bridge was ice and I almost slipped and fell… again. 2018 has been a big year for me impersonating a clumsy penguin.)
All in all it was a wonderful holiday escape and as per usual we enjoyed every minute of it. We can’t wait until we get to spend it with you!
Your Future Fathers,
Ryan and Matt