Weather was bad across the eastern part of the US on the 23rd, interfering with travel at all levels. Nathaniel’s first flight from Long Island was delayed, causing him to miss his connection in Philadelphia. By the time he walked in our house, he had been traveling for 14.5 hours. Much as I dread John’s driving up to get the grandsons, I heard myself saying, “John, you could have done it in 15 hours.”
Needless to say, we were a bit like zombies. Nathaniel greeted David, who was waiting eagerly to see his brother. No one said a word about the mirror, but I was on duty. I wanted to catch that moment when the tallest one in the family performed the Rite of the Mirror. Every time he comes, he raises it to his height, which is where it was the first time he came. I had slung the mirror on the hanger the previous owners used for a clock. Eureka! I got it! John was in the background, holding a blanket from the car. Nathaniel’s visit with all of us had officially begun.
Seeing the photo, he was horrified at his travel-stained appearance, but all he wanted to do was get to bed. That was the sentiment of all of us. We had half an hour until Christmas Eve began at midnight.