Memories, Old and New

Yesterday was what would have been Raven’s 17th birthday. I used to tell him that it was so handy that he was born in the year 2000 because it made it really difficult to forget how old he was during any given year. Birthdays were important to him. I remember that when we celebrating his 10th, we were in the first house in West Seattle. Actually, it was officially Arbor Heights. It was a small party with my mom and Lawyerella as the party guests. Raven was deep in a pizza phase and still learning to be comfortable eating at the table as part of a family.

There used to be a pizza place in West Seattle called Red Star Pizza. I think they are gone now. There is an enormous condo building where they used to stand. It looked like a hole in the wall, with graffiti everywhere and old arcade games. You could sit in the window or you could take it out, that’s it. Their pizzas were awesome. And you could order individual size ones so no one had topping trauma. I can’t remember what the rest of the pizzas were but I remember that Raven’s had jalapenos on it. Big rings of jalapeno too, not just little chunks. He was pretty thrilled that he was getting his own pizza and with whatever toppings they had available. The only rule that applied was  “you ordered it, you eat it”;)

I can still see him sitting at the square table, looking at that pizza as if he wasn’t quite sure this was going to work out. That was a good birthday. It was the first one that he didn’t have to be brought back at the end of the evening to the children’s home.

So last night, I deliberately went looking for a place that served pizza. Not in a highly elegant bistro style, rather the kind that you feed your family with – love stuffed in a crust. There was a little place around the corner from our hotel that we ended up, after first walking past and checking out all the other options in a 3 block radius. In the end, it was la duchesa after all. Primarily because the patio was full of Italians eating, some with their dogs patiently waiting under the table or in their lap.

It’s hard for me to accept that Raven is gone, that it has almost been a year. Later this week, GG’s friend will be arriving with her 14 year old son. I think that’s going to be a little difficult. Of course, I am good at not letting things show so much so I will be on my best carefree behaviour.

I think for now, I’m going to take a little nap because after walking around in the sun for a few hours, I completely get the siesta time concept. That’s progress, that it only took half a day this time 😉 When I was in Italy the second summer I was here, it took me nearly 5 days to acknowledge the wisdom of the siesta and to look forward to it…

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