One of my most frequent habits these days is a last minute decision to trek on out to the suburbs to visit my family. I’ll end up spending Friday in the city and the remainder of the weekend out in the suburbs. Each time there is a confirmation I make to myself before I come. “I need to get X, Y, and Z done”. Rarely, if ever, did X Y or Z get done.
Sometimes I am lucky enough to get a ride from Shan back to the suburbs. Nowadays, my car isn’t working so I end up having to take a train back. Once I get home, I can immediately see that both Mom and Alde are quite pleased to see me. Alde is much more expressive and will bark and whimper incessantly until she is within arm’s reach. My mom has her own pattern that she abides to. She’ll first scold and complain about how I’m dirty for having just played with Alde. She’ll then offer me food (regardless of whether there is actually any good food for me to have).
My favorite moments happen when all of us are together. We sit around either around the table or on the couches and shoot the shit. Dad usually ends up making tea for everyone. Well, he typically makes it for himself and mom. I yell from the living room asking if he’s making tea for everyone. He asks me if I want him to make me some. “Only if you want to”, I respond. Shan will grab his guitar and practice the latest chords he’s been working on. Khizar will muse over his phone. Mom will ask me to help her with a long list of things she’s always wanted done.
These are where some of my most meaningful moments in life hide. I get so happy when I manage to crack my family members up. Even more so because I know they’ve learned to resist laughing at my jokes as it reinforces my hubris. When they laugh, especially mom, I can tell it is after much internal resistance. She’ll break into this silent laughter that shakes her whole body as she smiles into my eyes.
my dad, these days, will be in a state of sleep deprived anxiety to get his school work done. Some weekends he’ll make his classic Bindhi. When he’s feeling enthusiastic he’ll grab Alde’s white rope and run around with it keeping it just within reach. Alde loves it. She jumps extraordinarily and sometimes even manages to catch and run off with it. Khizar will play with Alde as well, in his own way. He’ll trap her in between his legs and hold on to her. As she whines for freedom, Khizar will match her whines. This is incredibly irritating to Alde and it makes us all laugh. When she’s hungry, Khizar will walk over to CVS and get her those gourmet treats.
Often, we’ll go out to eat. Our car rides hold their own unique moments. There is the classic moment of Dad running off with the car to grab Gatorade. There is also Dad getting mad and stopping the car in the middle of the road. There is Shan and I fighting obnoxiously in the back seat. There was our impromptu trip to Toronto that held so many memories.