In my childhood, I did childish things, like setting the table with one unmatched plate, given to the person in the family I was not too keen on at that moment.
Current plates are all matching in our household, but we've acquired a few forks that do not belong to us. Remembering my childhood, I have started calling it the fork of hate when the table is set and dinner is served, and I find that odd fork at my place.
I dislike those forks. Not for the same reasons my daughter hates them (she doesn't like to use "used" silverware) but because they don't feel right in my hand. The heft is all wrong! I complain about that different fork, because I know I have a drawer full of matching (in "my" pattern) forks. Why do I keep getting the fork of a different set?
The other day when we sat down for dinner, my daughter found the odd fork at her place. She asked my son to trade forks before the meal, and he said no way. I looked at my regular, beloved, fork, finally one of my own, and I looked at her holding the odd fork.
Like any good mother will do, I traded forks with her. Now when I see that fork of a different set, I don't think of it as the fork of hate. I think of it as a reminder of a mother's love for her children, of giving and sacrificing and it all being worth it to see her children smile. I am reminded that sometimes the simplest of things is the kindest of things.
I get all that and more when I see one of those different forks. So long, forks of hate. Hello, forks of motherhood! I'm not above trying to get them back to their rightful homes, but I no longer complain when one is at my place.