It’s nice to get glimpses of a real family table from time to time. The kind you dream about when you start planning to have a big family: talking, laughing, quizzing, loving discussion and encouragement, interesting topics, family jokes.
What we’ve gotten instead for most of the last seven years has been more like: fussing, food flinging, seat switching, picky eating, shushing, and general giving up all hope of completing a sentence about your day.
Tonight it was like magic. We sat, we ate, children talked politely — even to one another! It was crazy. Here is one verbatim quote:
Jireh (age 5): “So Soren, how do you like your new dinosaur books [from the library]?”
Soren (nearly 4): “Oh, they’re lovely. I am really happy with them, thank you.”
(Who are these people?)
We’ve been studying the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary this week so Dave asked the children to explain the first two mysteries. The children all kind of jumped in with the answers so I’m not sure who said what – I’ll just mark it as “kid.”
Dave: “What did the angel say to Mary?”
Kid: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”
D: “What else did he say?”
K: “Do not be afraid, Mary.”
D: “So why did he say that?”
K: “So she wouldn’t think he was a devil.”
D: “To see a good angel would be scary too.Wouldn’t you be afraid if you saw an angel?”
K: “Not if it was a good angel. Bad angels are devils. I like good angels.”
D: “Well, I would be scared if I saw an angel. I think the angel would knock my socks off.”
All the kids: [peals of uncontrollable giggles at the ridiculous picture]
K: “Angels don’t DO that!”
At which point we all, grownups and children, started laughing and laughing.
I think that maybe was our first collective family dinnertime joke. I remember many such moments with my own family of origin. It will be sweet to have many more of those moments to come.