Not Right Now

Dinner at Pei Wei (a Chinese restaurant) is quite an experience with a five and a seven year old along. On a good day, which is what we had this past Saturday, the kids are feeling experimental. Suddenly, all those ordinary foods that we barely even notice become magical and new.

Noodles are slurped or turned into lassos. Chopsticks become crab claws. Lettuce wraps become, well, lettuce wraps.

After the meal, we cracked open our fortune cookies. My youngest’s said “There is beauty in everything, but we don’t always see it.”

The little guy turned very contemplative after reading that, and as we were leaving the restaurant, he tugged on my hand. “It’s really true, Daddy! Everything is beautiful.” That’s my little guy – the world’s oldest five year old.

“What?” his older brother said. “What do you mean?”

“Like momma,” I said. “She’s beautiful, but we don’t always pay attention.”

The boys looked at me uncertainly. My wife turned around to look at me with that flat expression she’s worked so hard to perfect.

I did what all guys do when they’ve dug themselves into a hole. I kept digging. “Momma’s beautiful, right? But we don’t always notice.”

The boys looked at their momma.

“Am I beautiful?” she asked.

“Well,” my oldest said, gesturing broadly with his hands. “Not right now.”

And suddenly, just like that, I was out of the hole I’d dug for myself.

He’s such a good kid.

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