Getting Away With It

There are weeks and weeks when David and I eat boiled eggs and toasted soldiers on our laps in front of the TV. Not a soul passes by, the island is quiet.

And then boom, it goes bonkers, friends and family pile in for the holidays. All five of my kids invite other kids, friends have friends, godparents, godchildren, cousins, and on occasion strangers join us.

Normally we do something simple like Shepherd’s Pie and Charades. But I can’t resist a tablescape: flowers, shells, palm fronds, anything that comes to hand.

Here in a last minute dash I put a plastic green garland down the table. Sounds horrible doesn’t it? But I think in the dark, lit only by candles we just about got away with it.

But what I did not get away with was a morning-after conversation with my 4 year-old niece. She was looking between my 17 year-old son and me, “Are you his mother?” she asked. “Yes, but did you think I was his sister?” I said hopefully. “No” she replied without hesitation. “I thought you were his grandmother.”

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