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A Helping of Love

I’m watching my little family eat. You know you really love someone when you watch them eat in their own home, when they feel no one is watching, and you still find them precious. This is love. When Josiah is in his element, the dishtowel becomes a napkin, which is much preferred over his former choice– his collar. Reading the cereal boxes or other random print is his norm. And also places him in an ape-like hunch, so it looks as if he is guarding his food. If he does the “ape hunch” in public, I swear folks, the boy has access to food and does not need to guard his servings. There is no “survivor” going on in this household. Food, cleanliness and rest are endorsed and freely given.

My daughter, believes she is royalty– at times. And will appropriately temporarily don behaviors of a princess. She picks her food daintily and cuts the teeniest piece of fat off all meat, as if performing a delicate surgery. She used to offer up her rejects– crusts from her bread and pizza, occasional gristle found in meat, an accidental charring of something –were placed wordlessly on my plate. A gift. Fearing she may continue this behavior when she begins dating, I have told her not to give away her rejects. I explained this is a behavior she can watch occur after marriage. She may luckily have a husband who automatically assumes possession of her rejects, and will ask “do you want this?” after it has crossed his lips and hits his palate. (My first husband, did this.) Princess also likes to point out any over-looked dinner offenses by others. It’s presented kindly, at first. Then ends with a ruthless metaphor. Just yesterday her sweet voice delivered to Josiah, “I do not want to hurt your feelings or anything. Really. But when you take such big bites of food, I can see your food, which is as gross as watching surgery while eating. I want to vomit.”

20131002-205759.jpgJosiah is 13 and Asperger intelligent. So he will deliver with accuracy a historical recount of every faux pas she has made at the dinner table. Ever. It’s really amazing and tempting to let him continue to ascertain his memory threshold. But I am the mother. Sigh. Hence, am supposed to resemble a level of control, decency and concern for welfare of all. So I go into referee mode.

Then there is my fiance’, who has adapted very well to the role of “Step-Father”. He no longer looks surprised when he spends 90 minutes preparing a dinner, in which both children place a 2 millimeter slice on their fork and convulse as if swallowing chalky Pepto-Bismol. He eats with his eyes on his food, yet not in the ape-like guarding stance. He actually keeps his elbows off the table, and has pristine table manners. The downward gaze I attribute to a little PTSD from going from carefree bachelor to father of three– one with high functioning autism, another who wears three different outfits a day, and the third on his own preparing to marry in two weeks. I do believe he will be okay, his consumption of Tums has decreased. He is not on any psychotropics… yet.

Yeah, a family dinner does require love.

And they are still precious! I could eat them up with my dessert… if there is still any left by the time I get to it πŸ™‚

9 comments on “A Helping of Love

  1. anniethinksabout
    October 2, 2013

    Oh, the Step-Father! My kids have one of those! Congratulations on the engagement, and give him as much slack as you can tolerate. I like your writing about your family and your son. The Autism/Asperger issue is quite interesting, and I’m sure challenging for you. My boys had classmates that are brothers and both Autistic. Extremely smart boys.
    Ann

    • Linda
      October 2, 2013

      Oh, indeed, step-dads are so wonderful! The picture is not really my son, he is in the banner on my private or personal Facebook page. I don’t put pics of my kids on my blog… Just quirky choice. Anyway my fiancΓ© is Half Asian, so i jokingly made the pic of my food-in-mouth child Asian looking. So glad to hear from you… As always ! PS got an email from a friend who read your post on the Facebook writing with Linda & Caitlin page. She cried and said to tell you It brought her to a place of hope…. And24 hrs today!

      Sent from my iPad

      >

      • anniethinksabout
        October 3, 2013

        oh, that is so cool!! I guess I should post another one. That is actually my goal. On top of writing because I like it, I hope I can help someone.

  2. reinventionofmama
    October 2, 2013

    I love this post! I am in the stage where the children politely excuse themselves from the table to go 4 feet down the hall to cut one and cone back proudly asking, “did you hear my TOOT?” πŸ™‚

    • L M McCormick
      October 2, 2013

      How funny!! What will we do when they are well-mannered and boring?!
      Oh wait … I forgot that doesn’t happen, look at their nutty mamas lol

  3. Gaye Drady
    October 3, 2013

    Delightful, Linda πŸ™‚
    When my two darling children had entered adulthood, they told their father and me that when they were left at the table to eat all their vegetables that had become unpalatable from being shifted around the plate for half an hour, they would have competitions with peas and spoons on the kitchen wall – who could get the peas up the highest, and then who’s pea would slide down the wall the furthest before it just dropped on the floor. Then I suppose they had a silent fight about who wiped the wall, because I never found vertical pea trails on the paint – or maybe I just overlooked these housekeeping details. Anyway, it has been a cause for much laughter, and I threaten to tell their brood of kids some of the naughty things their parents did at the dinner table when a war erupts about eating vegetables with the grandkids πŸ™‚

    • L M McCormick
      October 3, 2013

      That is a great story Gaye! Dinners are indeed a place of where memories (and interesting family interactions occur)
      πŸ™‚ love the veggie tale lol

  4. Laura Grace Weldon
    October 7, 2013

    You are right. Looking with love upon our family (or any loved ones) as they eat and still seeing them as precious and unique is a testament of sorts. Of my four kids, one hums very quietly to himself as he eats w/o any awareness that he’s doing it. Another eats only a fraction of what’s offered, texture issues make most foods intolerable to her. But our mealtimes are full of lively conversation and laughter. Quirks are welcome at my table.

    • L M McCormick
      October 7, 2013

      Another celebrator of differences! My daughter is sensitive to sound, like I am, and will literally leave a room if someone is crunching. Alone time can be achieved, following a punctuary comment of annoyance from her, by eating few chips, carrot sticks or even granola. My son, is sensitve to texture and, also has a narrow gap of tolerable.
      Yet, this is just the basic biological level. The personalities clink delightfully as the silverware on the plate. Conversation may range from Thomas Edison to how “Katie said to the teacher!” Gasp!

      Lovely, quirky people making my most memorable meals.

      Nice to read you and meet you (again).

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This entry was posted on October 2, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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