Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boy Cheese Sandwich

In 100 Words or Less

A favorite family story concerns a five-year-old Ben. When ordering a grilled cheese sandwich, I would wink at the waitress and order a "boy cheese" sandwich. I explain that Ben would not eat a "girl cheese" sandwich.

Eleven years later, Lisa and I have noticed similarities between young Ben and now six-year-old Sam. They both eat like chipmunks, holding their food in both hands and gnawing it. I laugh out loud though when I hear Sam ask Lisa why they are called girl cheese sandwiches when they are for boys too.

The Father Who Had Ten Children

Lisa and I, and eight of our nine children have just finished eating at our local pizza joint. Lisa pulls a present out of the diaper bag and hands it to me. I feign surprise, and ask why she is giving me a gift. It is not my birthday. She smiles and says to open it.
The younger children jostle for position. The older ones shift in their chairs to get a better view. I ask Lisa if she is sure the present is for me. The kids repeat Lisa's request - just open it! I begin to tear away the wrapping paper very slowly. "C'mon Dad!" the little ones cry. When it is finally unwrapped, I ask, "A book, what is this for?" I hold up a copy of Benedicte Guettier's The Father Who Had Ten Children. Our two teenage daughters shriek, "OMG!" in unison. Seven-year-old Katie takes the book and reads it. Frowning a bit she declares, "But we only have nine kids." Her frown changes into a smile when Lisa explains that we are having another baby.