After getting my stuff settles I see this note on the table asking if I could help set up a few things so that they could put on a show. The week of drama camp has now ended and someone wants to show off her newly acquired skills. Just put everything together that we laid out in the living room and wait for us to get ready. Basically someone wants me to set a table and wait. Nothing new about that in my life. Five minutes work and I’m resting in a chair anxious to see what the entertainment is going to be.
The shaking of my shoulder jars me for a second because I hadn’t realized I had drifted off for a bit. More like an hour, but no one seems to have minded. For some reasons beyond me I can smell food in the distance but can’t quite place it.
“Could you sit down at the table for me?” Susie’s got on a crushed velvet dress that I assume she borrowed from a friend. It’s a little too long and a little too big for her frame. I can’t help but notice the shoes as well, a few inches higher than she normally stands.
“Okay, I’m guessing we are doing some type of interactive scene? An interesting choice, but this is more like dinner theater.”
The stereo starts to play some piano music that feels familiar, until I realize that someone had been taping me last week and it was me playing. I can hear my mistakes, mostly just fat finger placements since I’m experiencing minor tremors from certain medications. But who cares, only I know.
“Dinner is served!” The words full of pride and hope, maybe some nervousness.
The plates are full of salad and berries. Nice start!
Her best friend is playing the roll of waitress and I’m starting to wonder if anyone else is going to join us. But the table is set for three people. Maybe I’m the test run for their performance. Uncle Lary is so much less intimidating than the family at large. But then the conversation starts.
“How was your day? Camp was fun, but I’m glad it’s over. This boy kept following me around and it made me feel weird. Just let me know if you’re done with the salad, there’s more to come.”
“Susie, what are you guys up to? I thought this was going to be some test run, not that I don’t appreciate the food. I really am enjoying what you made, but what’s the deal?”
“Okay, you don’t get out very much. I know why, we all know why, but sometimes you need more than work and going to the doctors. Gram said you used to be the funniest person, but I only see that when you try so hard sometimes it’s not funny. I can’t do much about the other things, but Dad said you would love it if I just offered to make dinner one night. I thought you’d turn it down, make you sad or something. I tricked you like you tricked me with those cupcakes. I still want to know if you made them or bought them!”
I’m speechless at this gesture. While a plate of spaghetti is placed in front of me, I just need to excuse myself for a few minutes. Bathroom break!
The mirror is shaking or possibly it’s me. No, my hands aren’t grabbing the towel, so it’s definitely me! Get your stuff together, this is a good thing. Get back out there before you make someone feel nervous or even worse.
“Susie, this is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a very long time. You know that, since you said you got the idea from your Dad. You know that your aunt was the first person to ever make dinner for me. At least someone who wasn’t related to me.”
“I know, you’ve told me that before. But I just wanted a nice evening. Please don’t be upset.”
I’m not upset, no where near that. I’m so grateful that I want to pick her up and hug her. But I’m still working on that whole adult/teenager relationship and where things are comfortable. My choice is one I make very rarely, I go over and kiss her on the top of the head. There are only a handful of people I do this do, it’s the closet thing I can get to saying “Love you” without the awkwardness that sometimes goes with it.
The smile from her face it nice, her friend is giggling from the entire situation. Teenagers!!!
I’m holding on to these little things in life, small moments where I can just lock out the other things weighing down on me. It’s not a parade or balloons or even a day on the calendar most people would be caring about. I honestly don’t know how many of these moments I will get in my life moving forward. But that’s another topic for another day.
That dinner meant the world to me, I didn’t know the adults were in the kitchen the entire time making sure it went smoothly. Dealing with everything this little celebration, or special dinner, or whatever someone looking in might call it; I know I needed it. I’m sure everyone else did too, they just knew I wouldn’t turn down a smiling kid.
Thanks Susie, it was wonderful. Love you!!!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Celebrate Good Times.”