Thanks to Covid, it had been two years since we had seen Maddie when we finally got together again last summer. Maddie (they/them/their) is our oldest (born our son Matthew, now gender-fluid).
After they moved to Oregon seven years ago after college, I had to accept that our in-person visits would be far between, but we had been getting together once a year – often with us parents going to Portland.
Like so many who had to make the same sacrifice during the pandemic, I found that two years was crazy long without the pleasure of a hug, seeing up close the things that matter to a person by being in their house, hanging out with their partner and friends and simply doing things together for a few days. You share a lot during long hikes up Mt. Hood or Mt. St. Helens!
This year I am thankful that Maddie will be coming home to Atlanta this Rosh Hashanah. It will be a quick visit, mostly to see grandparents they haven’t seen in many years, people who played a big part in Matthew’s childhood and have missed him dearly.
We’ll see if Maddie likes what I’ve done with their former bedroom, and of course I will ask that they go through some things I haven’t yet gotten rid of. I hope we’ll have some laughs because no one cracks me up like Maddie. It will be short, but what greater holiday gift could I ask for?
Wishing you and yours a Shanah Tova and many warm hugs from your loved ones!
Fran Putney is a writer, editor, Atlanta Jewish Times proofreader and communications manager for the GA Commission on the Holocaust.