Dinner With Loved Ones

My brother, his wife, and their youngest daughter are in Boston for a few days so we went out to dinner last night. It’s a rare thing for them to visit me in the city since they’re not big fans of the hustle and bustle of city life (considering Boston a hustle and bustle city makes me laugh…but they do live in small-town Easthampton, Massachusetts, along the Connecticut River).

Anyway, they started their trip by visiting my parents on Cape Cod. Unfortunately, the Boston trip wasn’t for fun so they left their two oldest children (Nicholas and Kaitlin) with my parents and then drove to Boston. You see, my niece, Heather, has chronic (and severe) health issues and has been in and out of hospitals regularly since she was born prematurely almost 2 years ago. Oh, that reminds me, you can check out her website at: http://www.caringbridge.org/ma/heather/ . Just this winter Heather was hospitalized at the Boston Children’s Hospital for over a month and was a difficult time for all of us as she kept getting diagnosed with the wrong affliction.

Yesterday, they had doctors appointments at Boston’s New England Medical Center so Matt and I met up with them for dinner near their hotel (we couldn’t go too far because Heather is in a baby wheelchair). We decided on PF Changs for it’s proximity to their hotel – and enjoyed some yummy Americanized Chinese food. Conversation was good…ranging from politics, to health, to Matt’s plate with the nude image (that comes up in conversation a lot lately).

Interestingly, I’ve always thought that my brother and I have nothing in common. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Aside from the obvious physical differences, I never thought we had any similar traits. However, during dinner last night I picked up on a few things that we do have in common. For starters, he was reluctant to try anything new for dinner. Like me, if he finds an entree he likes, he sticks with it every time. No need for variety. I’m just like that (in fact, my double-pan friend noodles with chicken is the same meal I have whenever I go to PF Chang’s). At one point, he made a particular body and facial gesture that was exactly like something I do. And, he’s going to hate me for saying this, but it was also exactly like something our mother does. EEK!

We’re getting together for dinner again tonight so I’m going to have to observe Paul more closely. Fascinating.


  1. Comment by Robert on August 10, 2004 1:29 pm

    Have a fun evening tonight!! Your niece is adorable. I hope she feels better! It’s heartbreaking to see little ones having health problems….

  2. Comment by chrispy on August 10, 2004 1:57 pm

    john accused me last night of making a face my mother makes. i tried to replicate the ‘look’ again. it freaks him totally to see the similarities!

  3. Comment by Thom on August 10, 2004 7:57 pm

    It’s startling to see how much we share with our family members! (And I’m just like you and your brother – once I find a meal I like at a restaurant that’s what I order every time. I’m not very adventurous about food, I guess.)

  4. Comment by matt on August 10, 2004 10:59 pm

    I don’t see any similarities between you and your brother — you do, however, remind me a great deal of your father!

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