Last week we celebrated a birthday.
Because it's tradition, the birthday person selects the menu for his or her special day.
This time it was home made popcorn chicken and french fries.
It's not a very healthy meal, but it was a labor of love,
and the house smelled like a fry-daddy for the next two days.
The birthday boy filled his plate first, and we all enjoyed plenty-o-food.
At one point, someone lifted their goblet to drink, and the beverage spilled on the nearby plate of french fries. One of the kiddos started to scold the spiller, and pointed out that the birthday fries were going to be mushy. The perpetrator was starting to feel bad. It showed. It was silly, really, because everyone had eaten more than enough.
Well, I had just finished reading "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch, and many of his messages were still fresh in my head.
One of the chapters mentions an incident when he drives to his sister's house to pick up his neice and nephew in his brand-new convertible. His sister was admonishing her children to be careful in their uncle's new car. She was telling them to wipe their feet before getting in, not to mess anything up, not to get it dirty. The uncle wisely perceived that she was setting this 8 and 9 year old up for failure, because eventually they were probably going to get the car dirty. So he made things easy, and opened a can of soda and deliberately poured it all over the back seats of the convertible.
His message: People are more important than things.
The french fries? Just things. So I stood up, took my goblet, and dumped the whole thing on the plate of french fries, smiled and said "they're just french fries."
P.S. I really liked this book.
It was quick and meaningful.
I plan on reading it again. Soon.