Ever since Keith was very small, Philip and I have tried to instill the importance of family. Whether it was working together to tidy the house or waiting until daddy came home to watch a video, I took every opportunity to explain what our family is about. Our home belongs to “the family” so “the family” needs to care for it together. Those cupcakes belong to “the family” so we’ll wait until daddy comes home to eat them. I was very pleased when one day I overheard Keith explaining to his friend Andriy that our cat, Foofy Girl, was named that because “our family named her that.” (Not true because she first belonged to my MIL, but still, he gets it!)
I absolutely love when Keith asks, “Does it belong to the whole family?” I have to keep myself from strutting around while giving myself a big ole pat on the back.
But then came the maraschino cherries. They simply appeared one day on my husband’s desk. Not my favorite brand, but still, maraschino cherries. (And if you think it’s a totally random thing to have in Philip’s office, then you haven’t seen Philip’s office.)
It had been a couple of days. The cherries hadn’t been mentioned. I was home alone.
“I’ll just have a couple.”
“I wish I had some 7up.” (Back when kids could be in bars, I walked up to the bartender and said, “Shirley Temple please!” Hmm. Why was I in a bar?)
“This brand isn’t that bad. I’ll have a couple more.”
Surely you’ve figured out what’s coming.
I ate all the cherries.
Leaving the spoon in the nearly empty jar (hey, it was still 1/3 full of grenadine), I rushed off to pick up my son from school.
Upon seeing the cherry-free jar, Keith asked, “Who ate the cherries?”
I melted as I sheepishly replied, “I did.”
“Did you think they belonged to you?”
I didn’t know what to say. If I say yes, I’m a liar. If I say no, I’m a thief. Either way, I’m a pig.
“Who did they belong to?” Maybe he’ll tell me they were a surprise for me! I’ll be off the hook!
Keith, looking much older than his 5-1/2 years, matter of factly said, “They belong to the family.”
The cherries in my belly turn to the pits.
He gets it. I apparently do not.