It happened more than a few times this last summer when we would all be sitting down to dinner, and I would look around the table just before praying over the food and say, “Wait, who’s missing?” Now, in my defense, there are EIGHT of us sitting around the table, in various shapes and sizes, and, for some inexplicable reason, oftentimes in various stages of undress. So you can see how I might be unsure of exact headcount accuracy. Also, it is rare that we all arrive at the table at the same time, as generally somebody is on the phone, somebody is reading a book and ignoring all life forms, somebody else is at Scouts, somebody else is on the computer, and somebody else is pooping in their diaper. (And usually, that’s Becca. And usually, she has wandered off to conduct such business alone, in the privacy of a closet.)
But this handful of times I am referring to was different, because on these occasions, there was precisely nobody missing. I would ask for the roll call and Abbie would start with her “One” and then Garren follows with “Two” and Connor with “Three” all the way down to Becca, who is technically “Six,” but oftentimes yells whatever suits her, including “Nine!” or “Threeve!”
Each time, when it appeared that everyone was there, I would look over at Katie, kind of confused with my impressions and wondering why I was “off.” Katie would be staring back at me knowingly, in complete silence, but with this soft, warm look on that beautiful mug, like she knew exactly why I was feeling like somebody was missing. Somebody was. And that somebody will be arriving in April.