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Company’s Coming

November 5, 2011

or a sign of a return to something approaching normalcy

My feet are tired –in that honest way that affirms that, yes. I did spend most of the day on them: cooking and cleaning for a dinner party. Don’t groan. I love to cook and this house is still so new (to me) that it is fun to clean it. And it was a gorgeously warm day for November so the kid splayed outside when they were not helping me bake pies.

It was a lovely day even before company came: our old neighbors and their children. The house was full and very happy.

Did I say my house was happy? Yes. It has been 15 years since children lived here and this house was built for crazy-long games of hide and seek. I think the window seats and linen closets were happy to have the warm body of a child curled up inside them again. And I dare say the formal living has never been as lively as it is now, reinvented as a large-motor room. The French doors press themselves against the wall to steady their nerves in the face of so much bouncing. But I think they are beginning to relax on their hinges, let down their guard a little, and enjoy looking-on.

*****

Hope and Mercy have always had an unusual fascination for my dish closet –the pantry cupboard in my old kitchen where my wedding china and stem ware cozied up with the crock pot and the rice cooker. I thought the girls’ interest was a product of the tea parties they are so fond of creating at the kitchen table until Hope filled me in the day I cleaned out that cupboard.

I’d packaged the china and was starting in on the stem ware when she asked, “Have your pretty dishes lived in that cupboard all of your life since your wedding? Have you ever gotten to use them?”

“Sure I’ve used them. You know –they go with the pretty tablecloths and candle holders on the dining room table for dinner parties.”

“Really? Could you have a dinner party again someday? I can’t remember. “

That explained the surprising (to me) amount of dust on my stem ware. The last time I can remember using it was on Hope’s first birthday, six years ago.

Tonight I didn’t break out the stem ware. It seemed impractical having to eat in shifts at the kitchen table and it would have been out-of-place with the casual menu.

But at least we had a dinner party for people outside our family. And it wasn’t even anyone’s birthday or a holiday. It was just because.

*****

 Don’t leave this post depressed thinking, “Life after adopting special-needs kids is too intense for me to consider adoption! The poor woman hasn’t even had a dinner party in six years!”

That might be a logical conclusion. But it would be the wrong one. More on that next time, Lord willing.

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