He has ten beautiful children. His humor includes dry sarcasm garnering a smirk or two and a few intermittent laughs. It’s the only bond he has with his kids. Bustling to and fro, he readies for the gathering of his brood. Twenty seven including grandchildren and spouses.
Every type of liquor is available; none of the kids over indulge. Mother rarely deviates from her preferred instant coffee. He barbecues burgers when cued. The kids chat amongst themselves, a chance to catch up. Squabbles are unheard of with this crew. Frustrations bubble below the surface, past wounds callused over but unforgotten. A few uncomfortable rifts are smoothed over with idle chatter.
Mother is demonstrative and loving, dad is obviously proud. He rarely shows emotion, never hugs his kids. Instead he watches their interaction with a half smile, popping in and out of conversations with bits to share. You can see the contentment in his body language and on his face. When everyone disperses, my daughter makes a brave move and grabs him for a hug. Surprisingly he hugs her back! Now every time she leaves his home she ritually hugs him, and he lets her!