• LauraHayes306

invite happy

Our kitchen table. The food is on the stove and I just finished setting the plates. I called them for supper, which means I may have to call again. But eventually three sets of feet will come from various areas of the house; bounding, walking and semi-stomping. (He’s a tall kid with size 13’s...maybe he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.)


We get around this table pretty regularly though the frequency does fluctuate with the time of year. During football season it’s a lot less, but currently we average 4 times during the weeks my kids are with me.

Sometimes we talk about our day. Usually the kids bicker at each other. Always Mom asks lots of questions.

We dish up from the pots and pans because who wants to wash serving dishes? We ask the blessing and commence with the eating. Sometimes we talk about our day. Usually the kids bicker at each other. Always Mom asks lots of questions, and for sure there’s the predictable lapse in conversation due to chewing. Then it’s “Thanks for supper Mom”, and off they go. Except for the one whose turn it is to help clean up. Pretty typical stuff.

The table and chairs belonged to my Grandpa...even these plates. I bought the placemat because I thought it was cheery. The little plate is one I made at a staff pottery outing. The salt and pepper shakers came from my Grandma’s collection. The flowers were a thank you gift from a friend. It’s pretty humble, but it’s pretty happy too. Our family is not perfect, not by a loooong shot. But we try. We try to be good to one another. We try to work hard and help out. We try to just be happy. Sometimes we have great success. Sometimes we fail. Then we go to sleep and try again the next day. This is one of those places where we try.

"We try. Sometimes we have great success. Sometimes we fail. Then we go to sleep and try again the next day."

I remember many years ago, a co-worker did a quiz with me. (It must have been a slow news day.) It was a personality quiz, of sorts. For one of the questions, he asked me to describe the kitchen table in my dream home. I don’t really remember my description, but I do recall the assessment of what it meant. If there was nothing around it, you were unhappy. If your table had flowers, place settings, people, or any other symbol of life and activity...those were happy signs.

"I guess if you want happiness to come for dinner, you have to set the table."

I’m not sure if there’s any truth to that assessment, but I tend to believe it’s not too far off the mark. Maybe happiness is like any other guest you prepare for. It needs a place to sit. It needs some dishes and cutlery to eat with. Flowers are a great idea and nobody ever went wrong with a cute set of shakers. I guess if you want happiness to come for dinner, you have to set the table. You have to invite it...and you might have to call twice 'cause maybe it didn’t hear you the first time.

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