We went to the Dosa Factory restaurant
with a very good old friend
and our seven kids.
They were very good:
one napped quietly and the others played card games like “Go Fish”
and set up their Littlest Pet Shops on the lazy Susan
to show our sweet friend
who expressed genuine delight.
They sat in their seats and were very good indeed…
except the toddler
who played musical chairs
and repeatedly catapulted himself off his high chair,
grinning delightedly under his cropped golden mop:
“Wheee! Whahoo! Wheee!”
Of course the encouraging smiles of the surrounding people
just added fuel to the fire
and when he hid under the table
it wasn’t in shame but in jest…
he was playing house!
It was all well and good until he spilled water all over his pants
and decide to strip down, then and there, in the high chair….
and then bolt–laughing!–
as Daddy followed in hot pursuit.
After being bribed with “Coffey” (sweet milky chai tea)
he temporarily settled back into his high chair
(now in his pants again…which were only pjs…but still)
and sipped his drink off a spoon with relish:
“It’s yummy, Mama; it tastes GOOD!”
And while all this went on
we ate mutter paneer dosa, and chicken korma and naan
and talked faith and philosophy,
the importance of being yourself
and why the little things matter,
and I nursed the baby
and bounced her as she cooed and giggled
those new little laughs
that are like spring flowers
meeting with the world for the first time
to share their loveliness.
And once the kids escaped their seats
and scampered about eating fennel seed candy,
we settled up and walked home in the slight rain
to the scent of June roses
perfuming the grey evening with hope
and splashes of colour.