In another attempt to give meaning to the brief 24 hours our whole family gets to spend together on Sunday, we’ve instituted a family dinner. Ideally, we would prepare the meal together for togetherness. But when the chopping time came, I found myself alone in the kitchen. Whatevs. Prevents people from messing up my chef mojo anyway.
After the meats were balled and the sauce was sauced, we lit some candles and set the table. I turned on a jazz station on Pandora and spooned out some noodles onto plates.
Diana placed the boys’ plates in the middle of the table and placed hers at the end, the Queen Bee seat. From the kitchen I heard a terrible ruckus. Elijah and Luca were screaming at each other.
They were fighting over who got to sit next to their mother.
My side of the table was decidedly un fought over. I stopped Eli in mid fight and, even though I knew the answer, asked, “Don’t you want to sit next to me?”
Elijah, who I love dearly, stood still and considered me thoughtfully. I could tell he was choosing his words very carefully. And channeling Bill Clinton, he destroyed me in his best politician voice.
“Dada. I don’t mean to be harsh. Luca and I love you. We do. We love you just as much as mommy. But if we had to say who we loved just a little bit more…”
He made his fingers measure an inch. Then his eyes drifted over to his mother.
You gotta love that he correctly used the word “harsh.”
I tried to be cool with it. I really did. But I declared no ice cream for dessert over a very minor infraction of not eating the overcooked and fairly awful meatballs I made.
The boys took pity on me later and let me read to them from our newly purchased Super Hero Encyclopedia. I took comfort in if they had to choose who knew super heroes just a little bit more, their eyes would drift over to me.