With Song


I get that questionable word everyday at a quarter to five from my youngest son ever since he could first utter words from his tiny, little mouth.Now my oldest follows suite.

They both walk in the kitchen arms limp, eyes wide with sincere longing, their mouths quivering as if they had just arrived home after having been gone for days, unfed and cold. In my mind I'm thinking "it's only a quarter till five!"

In response to my "dinner's not ready yet" the whimper begins. That lovely whimper that gets louder and louder the longer they wait (mainly from my youngest.) and which as Mom's we tend to try and block out.

I give them scraps and bites here and there;  today its of ham. I try to erase the image of throwing scraps to hungry dogs from my mind. After being teased, they only sit and beg for more until they finally reach the table and then its the persisent, "take a bite, please."

And yes, I get "timed" sometimes. The blue sand timer so generously given by the dentist a  year ago gets good use except for what it was intended for.

Its easier when Josh is home. He cages them off in the living room, away from the small, cramped kitchen. But Josh is at the House of Prayer, its soup day and the kitchen is the hot place to be.

The peeling, peeling from potatoes. A tedious process that I loathe and that I can't seem to do fast enough. Screams echo to the kitchen from far away rooms where children bounce from beds, wrestle, take each others toys and need "Mom!" Dismiss. Peel.

Many thoughts run through my mind of what I would rather be eating and making instead of potato soup. Steak with portobello mushrooms, covered in a lite oil sauce served warm with rolls, a fresh salad, and a glass of chilled red wine to top it off. All by candlelite next to a soft blazing fire, served by two quiet, very obedient, little men in tuxedos. Sounds inviting.

Potatoes go a long way.

With fast flicks of the wrist, for children are eagerly waiting, I remind myself to be grateful to "Taste and see that the Lord is good," to "give thanks in all circumstances," "to be still," "not to complain."

Years and years ago women stood behind tables or with bowl upon lap, peeling potatoes with knifes and more often then I do. Invention of the potato peeler didn't happen until the mid 1900's before that they used what they could.

Peel, peel. Boil. Boil. Please boil faster!

A pinch of salt and pepper, a few onions, and the ham goes in. Soup day, that also means it takes longer to prepare and longer to cool off which equals more fending off with "it's hot, wait for it to cool off" followed by more soft moans. In the end, I have happy soup eaters.


We bless it with a prayer but more recently with song. For some reason the song sounds oddly reminiscent of the Sabbath Song (didn't realize it was called that until today) sung in Fiddler on the Roof of course with a little tweaking and a little holding of the hands, swaying of the arms.

Prayer not only with words but with song brings smiles and laughter from little faces. Such is the reality of dinner in our home.

"May the Lord protect and defend you.

May He always shield you from shame.
May you come to be
In Israel a shining name."

"May the Lord protect and defend you.

May the Lord preserve you from pain.
Favor them, Oh Lord, with happiness and peace."