We are sitting at the table eating dinner. Our kitchen table is right next to the window, and only the window shade and a thin pane of glass separate the cozy kitchen from the cold evening outside. If I were to stretch out my arm, I could almost touch the winter night that tries to filter in to share our meal.
I do my best to make sure we sit down to dinner as a family as often as possible, but I am finding that as the kids get older and busier, it becomes more difficult. On this night, not only have I had time to cook, we have time to sit together. The evening meal usually provides our best family conversation, and we all look forward to this time together. In fact, my children have commented on how many of their friends and acquaintances eat dinner on their own or in front of one screen or another.
As I converse with one of the boys across the table, in my periphery, I can see my daughter intently studying my face. We are discussing an incident that happened in the lunchroom at school, and though I try not to be distracted, my daughter leans a little closer, tilts her head.
There is a pause in the discussion. “Mom…” she says, moving even closer. On her face there is the scowl of a question. I turn to address her.
“What?” I ask, wondering what she is going to say, but knowing it has nothing to do with the conversation we were just having. I believe she has no idea what we were just saying.
“Is that my eye glitter you’re wearing?” she asks. Huh… I wasn’t expecting that.
When my daughter emerged all sweet and little-girl-cute at birth, I prepared myself for the day she would borrow my clothes, my shoes, my scarves and jackets, my jewelry and make-up. I prepared myself to be minus a vehicle when she borrowed the car keys and, of course, the car. But this—the reverse—I was not prepared for. And I certainly was not prepared to be caught in the act.
When I was a kid, we didn’t have eye glitter. We didn’t wear sequins and crystals and all things shiny. So the fact that I find these things appealing speaks both to my feelings of deprivation and to my slightly distractible nature. Shiny? I am there! The glitter make-up was purchased to enhance her performance make-up (because everyone uses glitter) and not because she wanted it. In fact, she doesn’t even like it anymore. Nor does she use it. Since I bought it, and it has now ended up in with my make-up, don’t I have some unspoken right to borrow?
“Indeed, it is yours!” I admit with pride. “Or… it was.”
“You can have it,” she tells me. “I don’t use it anyway.”
Share and share alike, I say. My day will come to share my stuff. Then it will be my turn to catch her in the act!