The night before the Great Dognapping Incident of 2012 (known to some as Christmas) I picked at cold rotisserie chicken in a hotel room and tried to soothe the baby to sleep while NJS went looking for something to spice up the eggnog he’d picked up while running errands for my father. The liquor stores were closed, and the bartender said NJS couldn’t order a drink then take it back to our room. A friendly couple at the bar struck up a conversation, and when the bartender went in the back for something they turned to NJS and said, “We’re parents, too. We’ve been where you’ve been. Come to room 146 in 10 minutes – we have Jameson’s to share.” They used to come to the hotel we were staying in with their children, but their children are now all grown up and this couple was enjoying a quiet holiday together. That night NJS and I sat on a hotel bed drinking whiskified eggnog, listening to our son snore, and marveling at the kindness of strangers.
“Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”