Sometimes it was fancy.
Mostly, I remember it being "good".
And to a little girl, that simply means I recall the experience as pleasant and secure; my whole family, -mom, dad, and us four kids, gathered around our metal early 70's table with its vinyl-covered chairs, for the family dinner.
Cabbage and noodles.
The meals had to feed six mouths on a single income and I must say, my parents did it well.
Well and young (there were four of us kids by the time my mom was 23).
It was a different time back then.
A beautiful, wonderfully different time.
How I lament that my children cannot enjoy the same freedoms and care-free summer days that I was able to. If you've ever seen the show, "The Wonder Years," you will have received a somewhat realistic glimpse into my childhood. So much of what I loved about it is just not possible for my kids today, due in part to a world with less defined boundaries, greater criminal activity, and waaaay less children being made to play outdoors in fresh air and sunshine. Sigh.
But thankfully for my family and I, one thing has not changed.
The family dinner is still a time of gathering us together, a time which I hope my children will someday recall, much like I do, as pleasant and secure.
It's our time of connecting, debating, sharing, laughing and praying. And it's those last two, laughing and praying, that I would like to illuminate for just a moment.
Yesterday, as we all gathered around the family dinner for prayer, my youngest son (age 4) began.
"Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful day and for our food that mommy made.
And thank you for my man purse."
(enter raised eyebrows from mom and dad before the smack of clasped hands over gaping mouths could be heard, as we both tried, and failed, to hold back the laughter that had begun to rise from within.)
But it wasn't over just yet...
Our older son, age 9, piled on.
"And dear Lord, thank you for my food too, and please don't let there be any staples in it."
That did it.
The whole family broke out in a fit of laughter, right in the middle of prayer time. And I have to believe that God, too, was laughing. You see, it's true. We have been finding staples in the food this past week or so. To be more specific, *I* have been finding staples in my food.
Why?, you ask?
Well, let's just say that I've been known to come up with a half-baked idea on occasion. Apparently, this past week was just such an occasion, where it occurred to me that in the absence of a bag-sealing clamp, I could simply fold and staple freezer bags before placing frozen items back in the freezer. So, I stapled my frozen fruit bag and a corn bag as well.
Brilliant, yes? ;)
And right you are. It's a definite no. Because when I carefully re-opened those stapled bags (and I was careful, honest to goodness), apparently those little metal guys torpedoed into the food and hid out until I found them during my meals (hey, at least it was only me who paid the price for my poor choice).
And did the kids take notice?
Clearly, that would be an affirmative yes, as evidenced by my older son's staple prayer (to be known as just that, THE STAPLE PRAYER, from this day forward).
Can't you just hear him as he and his own family gather for the family dinner someday (and oh, how I pray that they too will have that wonderful privilege).
"Kids, did I ever tell you about the week where your grandmother kept discovering staples in her food? Yeah, she did. I don't recall the details exactly, but I could almost swear it had something to do with a man purse."
Live wise in Him!