Pine Street Christmas 2020: Gatherings 3

Douglas and Louise huddle close to one another on their couch, so they are both in the frame. Although they see David through the window whenever he drops off groceries, they revel in the chance to talk. And listen. 

Sasha is on bedrest; her pregnancy has turned into a high risk one. Douglas marvels that his son is now a caregiver in so many ways. The same son he believed he had damaged beyond repair with his absent parenting is growing into a new father himself. 

“Sasha says hello, of course. She sends her love.” Douglas feels Louise squeeze his arm, gently, reminding him not to challenge this version of Sasha’s attitude. He suspects that his now daughter-in-law is relieved to have a reason not to join their video chat. He suspects she still struggles with demons he can witness, when he sees her face, but does not know how to name. Douglas wants nothing more than for David, Sasha, and their child to be happy and healthy. This want is a physical pain in his chest, but not a scary pain. It is a warm, deep ache that he touches now and then, to remind him of its presence. He welcomes it, and its story of rejuvenated tenderness between himself and David.

“How are you for money, son?” Douglas blurts out. He cannot quite hold his own need to offer reparations for his past failings as a father in check. 

“Dad, we’re fine.” Douglas thinks he sees David’s eyes roll. 

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