Monday, December 22, 2008

La Cage aux Follies

A Table Well Spent

Dear Charlotte,

Tonight was our dinner party with your awesomely rowdy uncles Jim and Jesse, and their much calmer, civilized counterparts: Aunt Amy and Aunt Kate.

First off, it should be noted that while I say "awesomely rowdy" and "calmer, civilized" to describe these people, they are the people who, along with Aunt Kindra and Uncle Jason, Daddy and Mommy hold as their dearest friends and loved ones.

That being said, tonight was probably the best night of Mommy's life, not taking away from the day you were born and the day Daddy and I met. You have had a highly eventful and busy week, and every time Mommy expects a meltdown befitting any normal 6 month old, you surprise me and have the time of your life and behave like you're light-years older than your age. (I told you all of this while you were snuggled in my arms upstairs, but it's worth telling you again and again and again).

Someday when you're older, you might understand the reason tonight was the best night of my life. When I moved out on my own, I was a loner. I didn't have much of an interest in roommates, or feel the need to party with large groups of people. You and I are very much alike in the sense that we prefer to absorb and take in what's going on around us, almost to the extent that we forget to participate.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

As I've made my way through the world, my biggest desire and dream has been to throw the kind of dinner party I've only ever seen on television. As usual, my dreams and expectations far outweighed the possibilities of reality. I always pictured the same thing in my perfect vision; a musical composition full of lights, sparkle, and cheer; people bustling in the door and shaking off the cold; plates piled with food, glasses of wine passed and conversations floating, and all of it decorated with a fine mist of holiday cheer.

Tonight, my wish came true.

Tonight, I saw from my viewpoint at the end of the table the vision in my dreams. My dearest friends sat around my beautifully decorated oak dining room table, sipping wine, drinking beer, and (hopefully!) enjoying some homemade chicken alfredo with all the little accoutrements. The demon Christmas tree sat in the background, precariously standing, but standing and cheerfully glowing nonetheless, and my amazing little family sat among them. I sat in my chair, soaking in the atmosphere, and I realized the simplest truth of them all:

I am the luckiest woman on the planet. Tonight, I had friends to cook for, a family to adore, and a simple wood table to hold them all.

There is a scene in the movie "The Birdcage" where they are all dancing and singing before dinner, and one of the lines is, "I could have danced all night."

Charlotte, I hope you will get to experience the feeling that happens when your simplest wish comes true in spectacular fashion. Cuz baby girl, I'm still dancing.

I love you.