It’s another meal and another great space race.
I interrupt the budding astronauts and the forks as they fly from plates of pasta to hungry mouths, trying to shield myself from the splattering of tomato sauce or a misguided ravioli. They are racing to the stars. He who eats the fastest and the most grows the biggest first. They’ll grow so big that they’ll be in the farthest realms of space.
“Ahem!” I say.
Eyes gaze up from the plates even as the movement of forks continues at a rapid pace.
They start slowing and then stop, eyes on me. They lick sauce from their lips and wait with forks poised to pounce again, seemingly perturbed by my interruption but not keen to lose any privileges today. So they listen.
“So what on earth do you plan to do when you get to outer space?” I ask.
“Well, we’ll bring our toys from the world and we’ll play with them,” the six-year-old girl says. “And we’ll fly.”
“Yeah,” says her four-year-old brother.
“And, oh, we can take a flashlight in case we get scared,” the girl says. “I’m going to take one. There may be aliens.”
“And what will you do if you meet any aliens?”
“We can share our toys with them. They may be friendly.”
“I guess so.”
And the flying of forks recommences and I scoot my chair a bit to avoid any flying sauce.