My mom is here.
My brother and his wife and their kids are here.
When I was in high school and college (and, okay, about three years after college) I made many bad decisions. So many bad decisions* that I have spent the past twenty years mentally screening a series of internal movies about how everything might have gone differently if I just hadn't: climbed into that gypsy cab/ met those Australians/ broken into the rooftop pool/ flown to London/ gotten married the first time/ moved to Cleveland/ had that one last drink/ said yes/ said no.
So many times I have found myself in a situation in which I was scrubbing my face with my hands, thinking oh god I wish I hadn't done that, that I eventually developed a new habit. During the past twenty years I have started to also recognize moments that are particularly good and I try to just... appreciate them.
So I say it again.
My mom is here. My brother and his wife and their kids are here. There is just the right amount of snow on the ground, my newest nephew (eighteen months with saucer-blue eyes) kissed me not once but three times on the lips and we had a good dinner. There is football. There was wine. For this one night, for this one moment at least, every thing is just as it ought to be. Better than I deserve. And it is all very good.
You know how in Renaissance paintings there is a lot of symbolism? Go for it. Interpret this photo.
* I sat here for a while chewing my lip and sipping red wine while I tried to articulate actual examples of bad decisions I have made. I think I nailed it. Jesus, those Australians.