Surprises by the children

We were visiting my parents. The older children were out with “the men,” but my toddler played around the couch as I washed the morning dishes in my bare feet.

The morning clutter cleared away, my mother and I prepared to talk. My mom tipped back her lounge chair. As I propped my bar feet on the ottoman, the toddler walked by my feet, He stopped and stared at the bottoms of my feet
“Dirty, dirty,” he tsked and went to the kitchen. He returned with a wet paper towel dripping from his hand.

Wadding the towel into a tight ball in his hand, he knelt down and began scrubbing the soles of my feet. Mom and I stopped talking, barely breathing as he worked. We quietly smiled at each other, sharing, only with our eyes, the holiness of that moment.

He finished, dropped the towel on the floor and went back to his toys. My mother and I quietly resumed our conversation without referring to my foot washing. Some events are demeaned with words.

He never washed my feet again, but – recently after church – we ate a light lunch in town and went home to collapsed into sleep.
I woke to scrabbling, scratching noises, whispers and quick hushes.
As I wandered out to the kitchen to start super, I noticed that the “elves” were up to something. The youngest was rummaging in the china cupboard. Candles were laid out on the counter.

A tall, teen-aged male sport a kitchen towel draped over his arm. He was followed by a smaller female version with a towel over her arm.
Something was up. I went to the bedroom and told my husband to prepare for our surprise.

“Is Dad ready, yet?” the waiter asked.
“Almost,” I whispered.
The waiter passed the information on to the waitress and a flurry of noise ensured.
Anticipating being entertained a a fancy restaurant with our blue flowered china, matching tablecloth and polished wood candle holders, we went to the dining room.

The red plaid terry cloth of the past two meals was still on the table. Paper plates in bamboo holders graced each setting. One white and one brown root beer bottle with mismatched candles stood behind the bottles of seasonings.

When we were seated, the waiter stood beside us, holding a pad of paper, “What would you like to eat?”

My husband and I stared at him, at a loss for words: We didn’t have a menu. The waiter heard us anyway, “Ahh, an excellent choice.”
The waitress pulled out the casserole I had prepared that morning.
She carefully filled the pint jars with water while he explained that the table decor was supposed to be an old Italian restaurant.
“Very realistic,” I murmured.

As we picked up our folks, the phone rang. I quickly answered, recognized the called and asked, “Could you call back in about half and hour? The children are serving us dinner.”

It isn’t often that my children do the serving. I intend to relish every moment of it that I can.