If you’ve been around for any length of time, you’ll know we have a steadfast tradition each evening as we gather at the dinner table.
With great excitement, the quickest to the draw shouts, ‘Can I start favourite part?!?’.
And with that we start the great ‘favourite’ game where each person around the table states their favourite part of the day, along with their worst part of the day. Once done, you select the next person and so it goes.
The game has been a source of great bonding in our home- not only does each person in this sprawling family get their own moment to shine each evening, with strict adherence to total attention from everyone else whilst talking, the power of selecting the next person is something each of our kiddies thrive on.
On this particular evening, we had moved around the table with much of the favourite parts being around our new arrival. Many had opted to say ‘and I didn’t have a worst part….. I chooose….’ before they made their selection.
We arrived on Sophie-Mae (9). She quickly followed suit and said ‘My favourite part was getting tiny baby Neo, he’s so cute’. Her face was pensive, and I could see that something was troubling her. Bracing myself, I asked, ‘What was your worst part sugar?’.
She took a breath and the words came tumbling out of her mouth.
‘My worst part is knowing that if just one person had supported his mummy, he wouldn’t need us. She must be so scared tonight.’
A collective moment of silence.
The truth hit the adults hard.
We’re used to challenging conversations around the dinner table. Much of what comes out of ‘favourite part’ requires a bit of unpacking- we speak about first families TONS, and often field questions like ‘why aren’t I adopted yet’ or ‘when can I see my mummy’. We’ve addressed ‘is my daddy still in jail’ and ‘why must I be in this family’… all in the last month.
But this observation hit deep. It spoke of an understanding towards another human’s circumstance, independent of the lived experience of the mouth from which it came.
It struck me deeply- if a child could compute this, if a child can understand the depth of the failure that exists towards women… if a child can see a baby as just a symptom of such a larger crisis… well what’s stopping us adults.
And so as you gather this evening, I encourage you to think about what simple truths you might be overlooking? What symptoms are you treating while ignoring the cause? Who knows… maybe your children have the answer if you’ll take just a second to listen.
(Written by Tiffini Hein)