From Friday morning until Monday night, I was with at least one person. That’s unusual for me. I spend most days working in my office, either editing or writing on my computer. In fact, I spend so much time alone that by Friday night, I’m ready to go out just as Todd begins to savor being at home for two days.
It wasn’t. I like being in a crowd, but I tend to stay near the edge, watch events, move from person to person. There’s so much going on I find it hard to concentrate.
In the past, I’ve blamed myself for not being a cocktail party playah. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve accepted my tendency to withdraw, find a way to be by myself, even when surrounded by people. It’s my way of resting in plain sight.
What I liked best was the swirl of children. There were two groups of four from two families, one group of three from another, and one new boy, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s son. I got to hold the newest baby several times, and she was kind enough not to cry when passed around from person to person.
My favorite part was watching the four-year-olds play together. Ring around the rosy (the adults warned them about hitting their heads against the rock hearth). Hiding in a nook under the coffee table. Head-butting the sofa (the adults worried about their brains spilling out before they managed to grow up).
The most shocking moment came when my brother-in-law, who organized the reunion, declared, “I am not a team player.” He was reminiscing about how much he had hated team-player activities in school and how he only participated because he had to. I had always thought he was a team player. And I, who never was a team player either, was stunned someone had the courage to say that out loud.