Sitting around the kitchen table tonight during dinner, we had the following conversation:
Dad: “So, honey, you sent me some emails about our budget today – what was it again?”
Mom: “Yeah – we’re almost at the paying-off-the-car point. It’s good!” (I stop to take a look at my girls desperately trying to avoid eating their dinner.) “Wow, we have some gorgeous girls. We are totally gonna be in trouble when they get older.
You know, this will be our family’s financial future:
*We’ll pay off the car in a few months.
*We’ll (finally!) get our school loans paid off in about 5 years or so.
*Then the girls will be older, and we’ll probably wanna put them in some sort of private school.
*So I’ll go back to work to pay for it.
*Then Chloe will wanna get married. It will cost $10,000. Then we’ll pay it off and Kami will wanna get marr–”
Kami: (who, with her Snow White dress on, has been rapidly consuming applesauce, even though she didn’t touch her dinner…but if I didn’t give it to her, she wouldn’t have had anything remotely healthy all day, so I caved. She got the applesauce…and without looking up she says,) “Hmmm?”
Dad: “Are you getting married?”
Kami: “No! I not get married! I just gonna be Snow White.”
Dad: “Good. That’s my girl. Chloe?”
Chloe: (who at this point has finished her applesauce – also without finishing her dinner, but she managed to get through 2 bites without gagging up the tomatoes, shrimp, and spinach, so she deserved 2 cups of homemade applesauce. It was a valliant effort. She is now dancing around the kitchen and has made it to the hallway. She pokes her head back into the kitchen.) “Yes?”
Dad: “Chloe, are you gonna get married?”
Chloe: “Yes!” (She gives herself a hug and twirls around in a circle so her princess skirt twirls around in the air with her. With a wistful look in her eyes she says,) “Absolutely I am gonna get married!”
Dad: “Oh really? Who are you going to marry?”
Chloe: “Logan.” (Boy at church. One of the only boys her age at church.)
Dad: “You’re gonna marry Logan?”
Chloe: “Yes I AM! I am going to married him. So then I can kiss him.” (exact quote there…)
Kami: “hee-hee-hee” (another exact quote there…)
(Chloe then comes back to the table to attempt to find more applesauce in her bowl…)
Dad: “Yes, only when you marry him, then you can kiss him. But you also have to wash his stinky smelly socks.”
Chloe: “Ewwwww! His socks?!”
Mom: “Yes, and you have to cook for him.”
Dad: “Do you know how to cook?”
Chloe: ‘Yes! COOKIES!” (which, she does.)
Dad: “You have to cook more than just cookies. You have to cook him a casserole. Do you know how to cook casseroles?”
Chloe: “I can make a pancake casserole.”
Dad: “Pancake casserole? That makes me wanna vomit.”
Chloe: “VOMIT? Daddy, you’re so silly!”
Dad: “Well, that’s not enough. So you can’t marry him yet. And you definitely may NOT kiss him.”
1 hour later: Chloe is watching Jamie Oliver cooking videos on my iPhone.
(Cue: Jaws theme music.)
Logan, watch out.
— Even if it has been a rough day, and even if all you have is a frozen pizza or takeout from the neighborhood Chinese place….have dinner with your kids around your kitchen table – without the TV on. It’s always worth it. Always. :)