We had dinner at The Homestead (my parent's and grandparent's house) tonight. It was wonderful - as always. Even when one (or more) of us is exhausted or cranky or just 'off', coming together for a meal makes us feel good.
Tonight, we had our Friday night staples. There was steak for my dad (Friday is ALWAYS steak for him), and everybody else had whatever meat they were in the mood for... we brought chicken because that saved me a trip to the store... and we had a veggie and some pasta. By default, the pasta tonight was a Paparadalle - a long, flat, wide noodle. I had very carefully cut pasta, broccoli, carrots and chicken into Lily Ruth-sized pieces before we sat down, and placed them just out of her reach. As we began to eat, my beautiful mother began feeding Lily food off of HER plate, completely bypassing the 'baby plate'. I started to panic as she handed Lily Ruth a long pasta strand, but Mama has successfully raised not one, not two, but three infants to adulthood, so I took a breath, and watched the show.
As usual, the entire family was entranced by Baby Lily's performance. She slurped, bit, yanked and waved that noodle all around. The majority of it made it's way into her tummy, and none of it obstructed her airway. Nanny handed her another.
Someone (perhaps Grandmother Ruth?) suggested that Lily Ruth should enjoy this, as she would not always be the center of attention the way she is now. Someone else countered that she just MIGHT always be this popular :-) Her Daddy chimed in with 'Do the noodle trick, Lily... - she's 30, and we're still asking...' the table erupts in laughter. 'Lily, it's your favorite!... I was a BABY, what do you expect!?'. 'Just do the toes thing! Put your cute toes up here on the edge of the table like you used to!' Oh, the laughter was out of control around the table as we pictured a 'tortured teen' being exhorted to perform the 'tricks' of her babyhood... I personally pictured her in goth/emo make-up with a sullen boyfriend in tow in order to make it more embarrassing... All the while, the current darling is twirling loops of pasta in the air (occasionally hitting herself and/or her Mama in the bangs with butter & Parmesean covered noodles) and hooting softly.
This is why we're here, folks. The moments like this. These times are irreplaceable, and precious. Acknowledge and treasure them... and save them to torment a teen with...