Supper at the Heneises is an interesting phenomenon. Every evening we have the whole family sit down for a family meal. With teenagers being occupied in various outside activities, there is often one or two children missing, but the rest of us are always there. I put all the food on a buffet in the dining room and everyone sits down at the table. I serve up the youngest 6 and then let the older kids serve themselves. Then Andy and I serve ourselves. If we have guests, we try to let them go first. It’s a very busy atmosphere. Everyone wants to talk and, unfortunately, the loudest or most forceful usually wins the center of attention. Our meals are not quiet. To put it mildly.
We love to have people over and are used to having unexpected guests show up for a meal. Most people settle right into the chaos, but others, not so much. The other night one of the guys who works for Andy came over to the house to pick up some things and ended up staying for supper. It was a standard meal time. There were the normal complaints from the kids about the menu, me handing out reminders to eat your vegetables, everyone trying to talk at the same time while Andy and I tried to make sure the quieter kids had a chance to talk as well. Of course, inevitably, the 3 year old knocked over his drink all over his plate and so several people jumped up to to mop up the mess and serve him a new plate.
In the middle of all this Andy happened to notice his coworker had stopped eating and was just looking around with wide eyes. Andy asked if there was a problem and he said, “Nah man, Just a lot going on here!” Unfortunately Andy chose that moment to yell “Ferret!!” as he had spotted one of our pet ferrets who had apparently escaped his pen and was running across the dining room floor. Our guest looked puzzled for a minute but when he saw children vacating their seats and lunging across the floor after the escaped animal, he spun around and started looking frantically around him. “Ferret??? I thought you were joking!” Needless to say, he didn’t stick around much longer after that. Some people just aren’t cut out for a meal at the Heneises, but hey, if you can handle the chaos, you are always welcome to drop in at supper time and join us a for meal!