The first Sunday of the month is reserved in our family, for family. Not that we can't get together spontaneously at any other time as well, but this day for sure we plan on.
Last Saturday I had so much fun at the BBQ at our local conservation area that I asked a couple of our grandchildren what they thought about having a picnic and a walk in the woods instead of dinner at home. With shining eyes they said, "Yes!"
Their parents weren't quite as enthusiastic and had to adjust to the idea. I think they look forward to our family dinners as a sort of haven from the rush and tumble of the rest of their lives and you'd have thought by their response that I was planning a wilderness adventure and a Survivor meal of insects! :)
However as the weekend approached, the temperature dropped to chilly and clouds rolled in. On Saturday it was clear that I needed to pull Plan B from up my sleeve: Having dinner at home and then going to see the movie, Dolphin Tale together. Every one thought that was a fine plan--kids and parents. I suspect that the parents had been fasting and praying for bad weather.
So after church we sat around two tables, with the casserole dishes of food ready for serving and William; whom I am sure is going to be a theologian; prayed thoughtfully:
Thank you for the food that's not really in front of us, but will be in front of us. Amen.Because we needed to leave the house early for the 4.30 show, I made an easy pot roast instead of an oven roast. I used a recipe for pot roast that everyone at cell group loves, with cranberry sauce and onion flakes on top of the meat as it cooks, making a tangy gravy. I warned every one that the lumps in the gravy were cranberries, just in case they wondered. Note to self: children do not like cranberries in gravy. Plates were returned with lots of "I don't like the gravy."
Pete called it the "Gravy Rebellion," and said that even he, "Given my choice would not seek out gravy with things in it." Sigh...No worries though, we dispensed with the first servings of dinner and had fresh ones on the plates fast--with no gravy--and the rest of the meal went smoothly.
We enjoyed the feast of company as well as food and as soon as the last vestiges of cherry pie were eaten, we cleared away dishes as fast as we could and piled into two vehicles.
Getting to the theatre early enough to get the back centre row of seats meant that we had half an hour to wait for the movie to start, but kids have ways of killing time. Elizabeth (13) decided to count the seats. I had told her that we were in a 400 seat theatre and she wanted to verify that I guess. She multiplied the number of rows by the number of seats and then walked down to the front to count the seats in the lower section.
My mischievous inner child compelled me to whisper to William and Claire that, "We should shout down to Elizabeth to mix up her counting."
Claire thought that was a great idea and shouted out loudly, "One hundred and three," across the now filling up theatre.
"Don't listen to Omie," said Pete to the children. He said it was a like a "mute button," a, "temporary embargo--'Don't listen to Omie while in movie theatres.'" :)
Claire (5) then began a guessing game that made no sense at all, but which she thought was hilarious, so we played it until the movie began. It involved her asking questions to which there was an answer, or the answers were one of two choices, but to which she only asked us, "True or false?"
For instance she would say, "Were zebras or dolphins made first? True or false?"
William the theologian would answer with certainty, "They were both made at the exact same time."
I would answer "True," to make Claire laugh.
"When was the colour green made? True or False?" And so on. I liked that there was no pressure to get the answer right.
Meanwhile Elizabeth informed us that there were 511 seats in the theatre.
My greatest honour was being asked over dinner by William if I would sit beside him for the movie. I said that of course I would, and then when we got to the theatre and were organizing our places, stumbling with arms full of overflowing popcorn and cups of pop, he sat down, looked up at me and patted the seat beside him. That moment, one of many happy ones in this good day; that feeling of "being chosen," was my special treasure.