My family sat down to dinner tonight to enjoy hot-off-the-grill New York Strip steaks, onion potatoes, a giant green salad, and some piping hot garlic toast. Music was playing in the background, the wine was poured (for the adults), and Marty, James, Kenz and I finally clinked our glasses together in a ‘cheers’, celebrating the end of a very long short work week.
Dinner discussion was the norm: our family has a set of questions that are asked around the table each night to get everyone talking and not just shoveling food into our faces. What was your favorite part of the day? What did you learn today? What are you looking forward to tomorrow/this weekend?
Martin and my birthdays are one day apart and happen to be coming up this weekend. The kids were excited discussing homemade cards and where we would be going out for dinner. Mama’s birthday? Mama doesn’t cook! With the music in the background, and Kenz’s and James’ words tripping over each other fighting to be heard, I couldn’t understand a thing that anyone was saying!
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I tried to reign in the word flow. Once again, I had to explain, “Mama doesn’t hear too well, and I have a really hard time distinguishing what is being said when there are a lot of sounds being thrown at me at once. Working around aircraft for 22 years will do that to you!” It is a subject that the family is normally understanding of: no mumbling, no covering your mouth up while you are talking to me, if you have to tell me something, make sure you aim it towards my right ear, and loud dinner places like Buffalo Wild Wings are out.
Jameson must have been feeling extra sympathetic this evening, because my little guy gets a sad look on his face and exclaims, “Poor Mama. You’re going to have a hearing aid at 28.”
Wait, what?! Doing the math, I would have learned to drive at the skilled age of 5. I would have had graduated high school at the ripe age of 7, been married at 8, and had my first child at age 9. Something was off. Way off. I questioned Jameson again, figuring he misspoke when asked how old he thought I was going to be turning on my upcoming birthday.
“Um, you are going to be turning 28 Mom,” James asserted.
In one day, I have my five-year old telling me that the wrinkles around my eyes scare her, and to please stop smiling. A few days later, my 10-year old little gem of a boy, is telling me that he genuinely believes I am no older than twenty-eight years of age.
People, in my family, this is what we call balance.