Making Room at the Table
Since Nelson and I have been married, we've invited various people to eat dinner with us on a regular basis. For whatever reason, they've all been single men. I laugh to think about all the years I begged God for a sister, wondering why, oh why, I only got brothers. Now I’m beginning to think God was just preparing me for this.
We're on single guys numbers 4 and 5. The first three stopped eating with us after they got married and had families of their own. In the last two months, numbers 4 and 5 have jumped on the bandwagon and gotten themselves engaged.
As a matter of fact, the second of our current guys got engaged the night we threw that giant couples shower for the first one. When Nelson and I climbed into bed that night I had that excited, happy and sad all at the same time emotion and told him I felt as if we were losing our boys.
In case I've never mentioned this, I come from a long line of Italian matriarchs who were happiest when they were feeding people. Consequently, this desire of mine to feed people runs through my veins. When you eat at my house once or twice, you're a guest. After that, well, you're family.
All of our guys hold a special place in our hearts and are still dear friends today. But the current two have been with us longer than any of the others and have become part Parris.
We've watched them date other women and given a bit of guidance here and there. Flannel shirt for Christmas? Definitely not. Writing a song for her on your second date? Also, not a good idea. Flowers? Okay, now you're getting it. The guys have actually tailed the first one dating just to find out who the secret girl was...I know, so bad, but like I said - brothers. We were in on the proposal plans and got to see both rings before their brides-to-be. I even got to try one on!
Lately the table has expanded to include the fiancés when they're available. We've had after dinner dance lessons to get them ready for that oh so intimidating first dance at the reception. We think they've both done a stellar job choosing a mate.
Last night as I was cleaning up the kitchen and Nelson was tucking in the kids, the two of them bellied up to the bar, grabbed a drink and started delving into the some of the deep waters of the Catholic faith. Two hours later, the four of us were laughing together and teasing each other just like siblings.
I looked around that table and realized that I love those guys. We didn't necessarily choose them; they kind of happened into our lives and never left. It's not always easy to have extra people for dinner. Life gets hectic and putting on a nice meal in the middle of the week is not always seamless. It's an investment and investments cost. However, they also...almost always, have a big payoff.
Come January and June we'll get to witness a big payoff. We'll get to participate in the biggest moment of their lives and that will be very sweet indeed. We'll be both excited and a little sad that our lives will change.
We'll also be looking for God to send us some replacement diners.