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  • Writer's pictureRachel Chin

You might get the big fork today, dad

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Happy Father’s Day

I have three kids that take turns setting the table for dinner each day. Somewhere along the way, it turned into an ongoing practical joke on their dad. It started quite innocently when someone gave my husband a small kids’ fork instead of a regular-sized fork, just to see what would happen. Dad made such a scene about it when he saw it that it made a big impression. Now, inevitably, when we all sit down to eat, my husband will pick up his fork and loudly exclaim something to the effect of, “What?!? I don’t want a little fork!” and depending on his mood, he’ll switch his fork with one of the kids’ forks, or make a big show of eating with the little fork in spite of it all, or just sigh heavily and get up and get his own regular-sized fork.

I enjoy this ongoing interaction immensely because I feel it tells a lot about the dynamics of our family. First, our kids have developed a quirky little sense of humor. Even in the mundane everyday simple task of setting the table, they and their dad have found a way to connect and inject laughter into our lives. Second, they don’t give up. No matter how many times these kids and their dad do this, they don’t get tired of it. Of course, their dad encourages them by giving *widely* varied responses. Third, they get to see decision-making on display each and every day. It’s sort of like the “What should Danny do” books where Danny is continually faced with two choices and you, the reader, have to pick one to see how that affects the rest of Danny’s day. (If you haven’t read these yet, check them out -- my kids love them!). My husband seems to have an unending supply of choices to select from each time he sits down for dinner, and his responses show the result of each choice. It’s like a never-ending “What should Dad do” book for my kids.

It’s such a small thing, this fork drama we have. It’s easy to look past it. To forget about it in the larger picture of looking at our entire day. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and realize it’s actually precisely the kind of thing we *should* be looking for when we reflect on our day. On Father’s Day, this is exactly the sort of thing I’ll be celebrating. The small moments like these where connection is happening. Where learning is taking place. Where laughter is being shared. Where love shines.

I’m so grateful to you, husband, for these special little moments. This is where you excel at being a dad, and today, we’ll take the time to make sure you know it.

Also, the kids might give you the big fork today.

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