My daughter-in-law laughed at my jokes and complimented my cooking and we spontaneously gave each other half hugs every once in a while. My feelings toward her transformed from respect and admiration to genuine fondness (while retaining respect and admiration).
My son, without a sign of protest, helped me fix the overly complicated dish I had decided to serve and was authentically friendly and supportive the entire visit.
Harlan and Herbie enjoyed each other -- Herbie tolerating the undisciplined love of a 19-month old boy and Harlan delighting in (and petting) the 16.75-year-old cat. And Harlan and I played with a toy truck, pushing it toward each other in a game we spontaneously created.
And my brother spent some significant time with me and then joined in the Denver family celebration of my grand niece’s 21st birthday (the first time all of us had been together for a decade or two).
And a hundred other little moments that, cumulatively, were seismic emotional treasures. Perhaps none more so than little Harlan—the ultimate joy slammer.