The holiday gatherings are happening in Brady Bunch-like boxes on screens.
Allison checks in with her parents. Her dad seems healthier than he should be, given all he’s been through. He offers goofy jokes and delights when Allison and her mother groan in response. Her mother cannot help but express her concern about Allison having given up her job. There is a tense moment when the subject of money arises: specifically, how Allison is spending the small check her mother wrote and sent a week or so ago.
“It’s in the bank for now, Mom. I’m okay.” Allison recognizes the knot in her stomach, a combination of fear of not being able to support herself and annoyance at her mother’s need to control her choices.
But her mom’s response surprises her. “I know, darling. You’ve always been okay, despite my meddling. I’m amazed at your self-reliance. It’s just that I am your mother, and no matter what, I will always worry about you.”
As Allison absorbs this once-in-a-lifetime acknowledgement, her father adds: “We are so proud of you, sweetheart. We just wish we could be together and hug you and tell you so.” He goes on. The twinkle in his eye is obvious even in the little box on Allison’s screen. “Knock knock, kiddo.”
“Who’s there, Dad?”
Allison’s mother rolls her eyes, and Allison blinks tears out of hers.