My sister brought a jigsaw puzzle along this weekend when our families re-congregated at my parents to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

It’s not something I would have thought of doing (the jigsaw bit) and I didn’t pay much attention when she first pulled out a table and dumped out the pieces (750, according to the box, 747 in reality).

Then some 24 hours later when I was driving back home, my daughter in the back seat looking for the letters of the alphabet on road signs, I realized what a treasure we’d been given. Working a jigsaw puzzle is a way for a few people you care about to gather around a table and share something, which isn’t the puzzle but your time. You’re facing each other — unlike when, for instance, people watch television together. You talk about whatever comes up, serious topics or lite topics or just how you’re certain that the particular piece you’re looking for is surely lost. You laugh, a lot. And if you pay attention, you realize how much you love each other and how comfortable you are together.

I wouldn’t have thought to suggest a jigsaw puzzle this weekend, but I’m awfully glad my sister did.

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