The ghost of Christmas Future at his childhood home this Christmas.

Bryan is a homebody. When away from home on vacation or visiting family, he always wants to know when we’re going home.

The definition of “home” changed for him when he moved into his apartment in 2011. It was a bittersweet day for me when he began defining home not as his childhood house but his tiny apartment where he lives with his roommate. It meant he was maturing, longing to be on his own in new surroundings that are just for him. His room. His mess. His business.

Oh, he loves to come for overnight visits and reclaim his old bedroom over the holidays. But upon returning from our visits to family in western PA yesterday, Bryan was forced to return not to his apartment which he was eagerly anticipating, but back to our house to sequester due to a close Covid contact. He was bummed out by the possibility of his lifestyle being cramped by “mom and dad rules” once again.

Bryan knows that I will watch his diet closely to see that he adheres to the guidelines which were drawn up for him recently by a nutritionist to combat his many health issues. A consistent bedtime will be enforced as will daily piano practice. Healthy hygiene will also be monitored. He will not be a fan! Already he is asking when he can return “home” to his apartment.

I know he does enjoy his time here with us, though. We play games, limit TV and movie time, but watch films, take walks, and eat meals together.

And he loves to reenact silly movie scenes he remembers from when he was a kid. The picture above is witness to that. EVERY Christmas morning for at least thirty years, Bryan has recreated a compilation of Dickens “Christmas Carol” at the foot of the Christmas tree. He covers himself in a quilt or bedspread and quietly lays on the floor so early on Christmas morning that no one is awake yet. When he hears us come down the creaky wooden stairs, he raises his one hand a la the Ghost of Christmas Future and says in his best spooky voice… “Ebenezer Scrooooooge” and also “Jacob Marley” (which ends up sounding like “Jacob Mar-ga-ly”). Then he makes the sound of the Future Ghost from the George C. Scott Christmas Carol film – a weird sort of howl. All to get a jolly Christmas laugh from the family to start our Christmas out with good humor.

“Home is where the heart is” so they say. Bryan loves being at our house, but also longs for his apartment home. And so I tell him daily, “Soon, buddy, soon”.

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