It was one of those lunch times where we needed to be noisy. We had a quiet, studious morning (i sobbed through the chapter of Prince Caspian where nobody believes Lucy that she sees Aslan and Aslan tells her that she must follow Him even if nobody else does...)
We did math, spelling... big kids snuck off to their rooms to do online courses, little boys roamed around making themselves a distraction and finding willing playmates...
Finally, it was lunch.
Ephraim emphatically insisted that all his siblings fold their hands and be silent till he was done his long laborious prayer... amidst sighs and moans of anticipation from a crowd of hungry children, his little voice chirruped, "An' momma, an' dardar, an' ephyum, an' food... (pause) HANDS!!! RORO!! HANDS!!!" (Hands are obediently folded), "An' daddy, an' noanie, an' monny..."
Then goofyness prevailed, little bodies laughed and danced and ate. It was one of those lunches that turns a "seven" day into a "ten". Charter had ripped off his shirt to match his shirtless little brothers & was teasing his sisters that he was, "eye candy". The girlies were rolling their eyes teasing him that he might one day be... if he ever learned some semblance of personal hygiene.
Suddenly Peyton was acting out a story from the table & my ears perked up from the sink where i was washing the dishes...
"& i'll jump on my horse and say, 'Hey ol' boy! i'll call you Thunder!!' C'mon, Bullet, let's fly!"
Cai & i made eye contact & burst out laughing - & in just that twinkling, i was so glad that i had all my chickies at home for so many, many lunches. Sometimes i bemoan the things that i imagine to myself that they're missing - being homeschooled... They don't get enough team sports!! Their writing isn't what it should be!! Those little boys are too distracting & my students too willing to be distracted!!! & on & on it goes...
But this friendly little circle?
This is part of the good stuff... this is why i'm doing this... The tears over Aslan's bewildering decision not to be seen, the conversation over the book of John this morning, the prayers for our election and those running for office - these are some of the times that i feel sure of my course and keep my hand to the tiller when the wind blows strong.
& my prayer comes after all the food is consumed and my little ones begin to pick up the threads of afternoon chores, school subjects and plans to sneak out while mama blogs... It's breathed without words, but swaddled in gratitude... for lunch breaks that feed a homeschooling mama. (john 4:34)