Our seafood platter arrived and it was spectacular! I grabbed a fat king prawn, downed it and chewed hard on the shell, spitting the crushed muck into my cupped right hand. Next, I broke off a piece of sweet lobster and sucked hard, making sounds my mother would not have been proud of.
Then, just as I reached for that second scoop of lemon butter for my crisp squid heads I heard a loud smack.
The recipient: a red-faced 8 year old.
The smack-deliverer: his father.
His crime: eating with his hands.
That blow was right in the face. Hard.
My little people kept working their mussels and muscles too. Dipping, twisting, licking, squeezing. Hands, hands, hands is all you saw. I reckon they were quite delighted that I lost my appetite. You know, more Cajun calamari for them?
I tried hard to shift my focus away from the child and more towards the delicate Sole before me but my head was spinning. Not from salmonella setting in, but from the shock horror of that smack and the many young men I had the displeasure of seeing with that very expression in my life.
When my husband got back from talking to a friend at the bar, I whispered to him that I was upset, and when I pointed (discreetly) in the direction of the smacker, all he saw a smiling dad kissing his son on the forehead as the happy mom snapped a holiday pic for their album with the caption #blessed, no doubt.
My husband said he “smelled something fishy”. And, of course it did look like I was drunk and just trying to distract him from the sad chips and 3 pieces of dry hake left on the “Deluxe Seafood Platter for 4”.
I tried to sleep but could not. So, I wrote a note:
I noticed with absolute horror that you hit your son in the face at the dinner table last night.
Sadly, I cannot get his face out of my mind.
I have no doubt that your intention was to teach “discipline”. I also have no doubt that your family business is “private”.
But, I do believe there is a better way.
I speak from experience.
P.S. You know what they say hey?…Once you know better, you have to do better. Aluta continua, as they say. it is indeed easier said than done”
What I did with the note is a story for another day.
…but, let’s just say that my head won.
© A Heart Full of Stories, 2016