Thursday, December 9, 2010
My girls and I were invited to a woman's 90th birthday luncheon today. I will admit that I was a bit nervous, especially when I realized that this gathering was going to be small. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm the first to brag on my children's amazing gifts. They are sweet and engaging, curious and generally polite. However, Emma (aged 5) also has a propensity to talk about death. Especially with anyone over about 40. "You're 59?" she'll ask sweetly. "Are you going to die soon?" After reminding them that people of the generation of the birthday lady (as well as that of our hostess) expect children in public to be polite and making Emma promise not to talk about death, we headed off to lunch. The small gathering ended up being the celebrant, our hostess, one other neighbour and ourselves. No one to hide behind.
I'm typing this blog post up today at the instigation of my mother, but I want to remember this day myself. My daughters were perfect little ladies this afternoon. Yes, Emma drank her tea with her spoon and I had to keep Katie from dipping into the sugar bowl with her fingers. But, remembering that they are 7 and 5, I am proud to bursting with how my little ones behaved. They were a delight to share this afternoon with. They remembered their "pleases" and "thank you's." They helped to set and clear the table, allowing the older women to sit and chat. They passed things and no one talked about the birthday lady dying!
Life has not been easy in this congregation for the past six months or so. Not everyone has felt the love that we have for these people. Nor have we always felt loved. But today, on a special occasion, by an invitation and the good behaviour of two young ladies, love was shared around a table. I was able to tell my daughters today that their behaviour didn't just make me happy, it had told three other people that they are loved, important, respected. I want to remember that.