When I went to work today, I told a family that I would be 50 in September and that I was writing a blog to get me through the mere shock of the event (and to get my body, mind and soul into the right place). They thought it was an amazing idea, and we sat and talked about my life for quite some time. The baby I was photographing was their first child, and they picked my brain forever on child rearing ideas. Of course, I am loaded with them seeing that my kids are grown and I have had so many fun experiences with them. We have lived in five states, both with and without expended family around. Therefore, I must tell you my kids are best friends. I would love to take credit in that but I can’t. It was all on them. They played hard and fought hard. When we moved they only had each other to lean on. They are amazing and I love everything about them.
When they began to date, and began bringing their dates around the house, I had to think of clever ways to make the situation bearable for us all. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the kids that came around the house. We were definitely the “kool-aid” house. Everyone wanted to be there. But when it was a date, it was sometimes awkward the first couple times. Of course, Ed and I had to make it even more awkward just because that is who we are. Our brothers did it to us so we do it to them. We were in charge, and making the kids squirm was always the fun part. So, I bought these conversation cards. Every time they had a new date come to dinner I would reach behind me in the china cabinet and pull them out. Then it would begin. The questions were easy, they were fun, but most of all they helped us get to know the friends our kids hung out with. That one person they thought was special enough to meet us. Yes, they would grumble at the thought of the cards coming out, but secretly I know they loved knowing their parents cared enough to want to know their friends.
They are not in high school any more, and the dates they bring to the house are more serious than that time, but, believe me, I still whip out the cards. Last summer my son’s girlfriend came for a week to visit while my son was away. We got her alone for a whole week! I can’t believe he allowed that knowing the kind of things we might put her through. The first night, with a glass of wine, we pulled out the cards. It’s been and year and she is coming back next month. I guess we didn’t scare her off.
Tonight, my daughter Katie is bringing her boyfriend to dinner. I have met him a few times, but this will be our first sit down. I have planned our Buffalo favorite Chaivetta’s Chicken and Giada’s Pita and Grilled Vegetable Panzanella from Feel Good Food page 112. I know Katie will love sharing one of her favorite chicken dishes with Mike and I will love sharing my conversation cards!