If a genie popped out of a magic bottle right now and granted me three wishes, I know what one of them would be: once, just once, I wish our family dinner would go off without a hitch.
I envision our family—my husband, two-year-old daughter N and me—gathering happily and calmly at our dinner table. I have just finished cooking a fabulous healthy meal in 30 minutes or less; the delicious entrée is done to perfection and the side dishes are all hot and ready at the same time. It’s early in the evening and everyone has their food—we haven’t forgotten a thing! N quietly eats her food without making much of a mess while my husband and I have a nice conversation about the day.
Sadly, I have no genie to grant me even one wish, so I’ll have to write about our real family dinner. We grilled hamburgers, which was fine, except that we didn’t notice one of the patties was actually a half-pattie. Why, I have no idea, but I wound up with a tiny midget burger on my humungous bun. So I cut off the sides of my bun and decided to put a positive spin on it: I don’t need the extra calories anyway, right?
Everything else was going swimmingly until N (who just started eating at the big table) suddenly grabbed her fork and—metal side down—raked it back and forth across the tabletop several times, leaving big, indelible scratches on the wood. Of course, had I thought ahead, I would have stuck a placemat underneath her plate, but hindsight is 20/20.
I’ll make another attempt at positive spin: the good thing is that we have dinner every day, so we can always keep trying for my fantasy dinner. Maybe one of these days, it just might happen!
In the meantime, please ignore me as I furtively rub my bottle of olive oil and pray that a genie pops out…