|The picture of formality . . .|
My husband's sister loves to entertain.
And she does it well.
Beautiful china, fine crystal stemware, heavy silver utensils.
China and crystal serving platters.
Everything beautiful and perfect.
She even insists that the children be included.
Crystal and all.
And that is where our story begins . . .
We had been invited to the Williams home to celebrate a momentous occasion.
I don't remember which momentous occasion.
A birthday or something else noteworthy.
The important point is that we had been invited.
And we were excited to go.
Moving on . . .
We were the proud parents of two sons at that point in time.
An infant and a two-year-old.
The latter of which was sat on a booster seat among the shining, beautiful appointments on the table.
His mother was . . . how shall I say this . . . concerned.
But dinner was announced.
And duly consumed.
Completely without mishap.
Miracles do occur.
We were sitting at the table, visiting.
Our youngest son had been put to bed and our eldest was playing with toys and cousins on the floor at our feet.
A peaceful, blissful scene.
Our son stood up and toddled over to me.
"Drink!" he demanded.
At least that is what I translated it to say.
It sounded a bit different in 'toddler'.
My sister-in-law handed me a crystal goblet of water.
"Here," she said.
I held the glass for my son.
He clamped his teeth into the side.
As he did with all of the Tupperware glasses we had at home.
And immediately bit out a small, moon-shaped piece of fine crystal.
I shrieked and dropped the glass.
The pried his mouth open.
He hadn't swallowed.
What did I say about miracles?
We were able to retrieve the little piece of crystal, intact, from my son's mouth.
No injuries occurred.
But the lesson remained.
From then on, whenever we sat to dine with my husband's sister, everyone had fine china, crystal and silverware.
Except my children.
With their sharp teeth.
And their indestructible Tupperware.
The brightly-coloured plastic might have been a jarring note in an otherwise picture-perfect setting.
But it was safe.
As every family gathering should be.