Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sunday ‘Round the Table

“Mom!” Anders calls from the floor above me. “It was just an accident!”

“What honey? What did you say?”

“It was just an accident, Mom.”

“Anders, but what did you do?”

(Pause.) “I didn't do anything.”



We are sitting around the Sunday dinner table. Everyone is being silly and ridiculous and loud. I am trying to reign it in – trying to veer things toward some amount of real family conversation despite Mike's absence. “What did you guys learn at church today?” I ask.

“We learned about honesty,” Penny contributes.

Good. We are on the right track. “That's good, Penny. Jesse told me they learned about that too! What else did you guys learn?” I encourage.

“Well,” Abe smiles, “I'll tell you what I did in church today.”

I'm all ears. Tell on Abe.

“So,” Abe begins, “we sometimes call Jared (a friend from church) 'Jare-Bear'; so, every Sunday, I draw a Jare-Bear on the chalkboard.”

“What does a 'Jare-Bear' look like?” I ask.

“A bear's head on a deacon's body,” Abe explains.


“Or, sometimes a missionary's body so he can have a little name-tag that says, 'Elder Jare-Bear'.”

More laughter.

“Anyway, my drawing today was particularly good with his tie like blowing in the wind and stuff.”

I can see this probably isn't leading towards the meaningful family chit-chat I was after. . . .

“And then sometimes the creepier ones are like Care Bears, and they have tattoos on their stomachs that shoot out rainbows.”

The riotous laughs from his audience sparks a further memory. “Oh yah!” Abe chuckles. “So awhile ago, we had a lesson on dating. There was a stick figure on the board of a girl and then some stick figures of her different dating options, and one of her options was a Jare-Bear. Oh, and a robot was another one of her options. The Jare-Bear actually turned out to be a pretty good option though. The robot had like anger issues and spent his money poorly.”

Eventually I turn the discussion away from the nonsense and on to something that seems to be sticking.

“I've decided I'm going to start quizzing you guys on who all your cousins are,” I inform them.

“How can you quiz us on something we don't even know?” someone asks.

(I am the tenth in a family of eleven children. Because some live out of state and some have children who already have children of their own, it hasn't been easy for my kids to keep track of all their aunts, uncles and cousins.)

“Well, that's why I'm going to teach you first. Then I'll quiz you,” I respond. “I mean, you ought to know who all your cousins are, don't you think? Doesn't it seem weird to think of say . . . Abe's kids and Anders’ kids not even knowing each other?”

“Well, I know all our cousins,” Abe defends. “I just don't like . . . know all those older ones' names and stuff.”

“That's the same thing,” I insist.

At last everyone agrees that it does indeed seem odd not to know your own cousins, and we start. Initially I simply quiz them on my siblings.

Once they stumblingly make a list of all of my siblings (in a terribly wrong order I might add) we begin by going over my oldest brother and his kids.

“So,” I begin. “Your Uncle Mark is actually really impressive. He was the chief trial judge for the entire US Air Force. He's a Colonel, and a Colonel is only a step below a . . .”

Before I can say, “General” Abe chimes in with, “A Colonel is only a step below a cob.” And it's all back to laughter and nonsense again.
Photo Sep 09, 3 08 21 PMPhoto Sep 08, 3 09 26 PMPhoto Sep 08, 3 08 07 PM (2)Photo Sep 08, 3 07 31 PMPhoto Sep 08, 3 08 07 PM

Photo Sep 02, 4 32 47 PMPhoto Sep 03, 8 46 06 AMPhoto Sep 02, 7 37 34 PMPhoto Sep 02, 9 08 08 AMPhoto Sep 03, 8 45 52 AMPhoto Sep 04, 6 59 15 PMPhoto Sep 04, 1 28 38 PMPhoto Sep 02, 9 01 10 PMPhoto Sep 04, 12 24 39 PMPhoto Sep 04, 9 44 33 AMPhoto Sep 05, 8 10 44 AMPhoto Sep 04, 12 30 41 PMPhoto Sep 06, 6 39 54 PMPhoto Sep 06, 6 39 44 PMPhoto Sep 08, 10 57 27 PMPhoto Sep 06, 6 40 20 PM (1)


Shannon said...

And is so handsome and clever. I love that boy. Since he can't marry a cousin like Grace (unless he forgets who she is???), he better find somebody equally as awesome.

Linn said...

Holy frijoles our kid would get along! Why don't we live closer? We could be pretend cousins.

jami said...

haha! i love it! sounds like a sunday dinner - no. scratch that. ANY dinner around my table. love it. love your kiddies. love seeing your amazing pics of your beautiful family. :)

The Circus said...

You are fantastic. I totally got sucked into your life. Thank you for sharing!

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