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Friday, December 17, 2004



I have to go out THERE. I don't wanna go out THERE. I'm not really sure I'm quite up to going out THERE yet. But I gotta. Got things to do and because I was out of commission for over a week..nearly two...I'm behind. WAY behind. So far behind that I basically missed Hanukkah. Not that we've ever really celebrated it before. But this year is a little special.

My beautiful Averie has been dating her boyfriend for 7 months now. This is her first boyfriend and she's 19. She held out for what she considered the best. Jason's a sweet kid. He's an actor and writer, and like Averie, he loves comedy and theater. They're a perfect match. At least he's on his best behavior when he's around us, as would be expected. From what Averie says, he thinks Charlie is cool. Funny, she doesn't say much about what he thinks of me. I suppose you don't really have to impress your girlfriend's mom, but you DO have to impress your girlfriend's dad. Jason works at a butcher shop and so whenever he comes to visit, he brings Charlie some choice cuts of meat. Charlie finds that completely hilarious; "Yeah, this kid really knows how to impress his girlfriend's dad. He brings filet mignon and carne asada." Smart kid.

A few weeks ago, Averie tells me that she's planning on going up to Northern California with Jason to celebrate a late Hanukkah with his family during their winter break from school. I'm a little apprehensive. I'm a mom. It's what I do. I worry. But, I go about the business of getting ready for the holidays. I even start buying a couple little trinkets for those "Eight Crazy Nights" so that Jason feels a part of. I'm kinda digging the whole opportunity to celebrate our usual Christmas festivities and add to it the flavor of the festival of lights in honor of Jason. He's thinking it's pretty cool too and thanks me. Oh good, maybe he likes me as much as he likes Charlie.

Anyway, the day arrives that they plan on leaving for Concord. I've made a couple of baskets of goodies for Averie to take with her and give to his parents. She balks but I tell her that you NEVER go visiting empty-handed. EVER. Last night, we helped load up her bags into his car making him promise to pull over or let Averie drive if he gets too tired. He promises. I tell her to call as soon as they get there. We give hugs and wave our goodbyes as they pull out of the driveway.

Hours later, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and listening to the sounds of the night; the Santa Ana winds outside, Charlie's gentle breathing, I longed for the phone to ring. At 1:04 in the morning, that wish came true. Charlie picked up and I could hear Averie's voice:

Averie: It's me Daddy. We're here at Jason's dad's house. Safe. Everything's fine.

Charlie: Okay Honey. Thank you for calling. Have a good time and enjoy yourself. Call us when you leave there next week..ok?

Averie: Okay Daddy. I love you. Tell Mommy I love her.

Charlie: I will Ave. Goodnight.

Charlie put down the phone, asked me if I'd heard it all. Yes. He leaned over and squeezed my hand and we both fell into peaceful sleep. That's one crazy night I'm glad is over.


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