Something was in the atmosphere of dinner that night that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Everything appeared normal. My mother and father were hard at work by the stove cooking what smelled as if it were a five-star meal. The steam on the green beans smelt of the little pieces of the italian meat, my mother always puts in them. I could practically taste the crunchy layer of breadcrumbs that leads into the juicy chicken that my father was frying in the iron pan. My youngest sister, Cammi, was sitting at the table trying to decipher her math homework, and now and then my mother would walk over to help her with a problem. My brother, Brian, was standing by the table making his trademark sarcastic comment every so often. Everything was perfect. I could have wanted nothing more than this moment. I remembered the day was Thursday when I heard a knock on the door and our dog Jasper’s notorious howl. My oldest sister and her husband were coming over for their scheduled weekly dinner at our house. They came to the table, we shared hugs, and we all sat back down to the serenity of our kitchen. I poured myself a glass of tea and sat down at the table looking around, completely unaware of the life changing news I was about to hear.
All throughout dinner, I could see the anticipation in her eyes. My sister, Caitlyn, had to say something, but little did we know the impact this news would have on our lives. We all sat in our normal spots at the dinner table, ready to devour another amazing homemade meal. “Shelly set the dinner table, the mac and cheese will be ready in a few,” my dad said to me starting to pull the plates out of the cabinet. I went over, grabbed the plates, forks, knives, and napkins and put them in their proper settings on the table as fast as I could, as if that would make the food cook faster. I sat down next to my sister looking towards the oven picturing the bubbling of the cheese on top of the macaroni. The aroma of the smoked gouda filled the kitchen, and I began to hear my stomach rumble. “Dinner’s ready!” yelled my mom, even though we were all ready to go at the table. We all lined up by the stove and made our plates. First I scooped the green beans on to my plate, watching the steam fly off of them with the juices running to the opposite side of my plate. Next, I took the tongs and picked the perfect piece of chicken with the sides just on the verge of being burnt. As I picked the piece up I could hear the crunch of the breadcrumbs in between the metal tongs. Finally was the mac and cheese. I looked over to see the gooey cheese and hurried to take a scoop. I made my plate then hurried to the table patiently waiting for everyone to sit down. We finished our prayer and were ready to dig in to the mouthwatering meal my parents had slaved over, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going on. Once we had all reached the final moments of our meal, Caitlyn cleared her throat as if she had something to say. She had a smirk on her face when she said, “Why don’t we call Sophie at LSU?” I didn’t suspect much from this comment. We called my sister all the time, but something about this time that was different. We only heard about two rings until Sophie answered the phone. By this point we knew something was up. Caitlyn looked as if she were a little kid in her seat, ready to tell us her exciting news, what had been itching at her all night. Finally she looked around to us all, and said the words that no one expected. “We’re having a baby!”
The seconds after she had said those words were the longest in my life. I was so overjoyed and, I was so in shock I didn’t know what to say. I saw the tears of joy slowly start to drop from my mother’s face, and I started to think. My family has always been close. We have all been there, whether the event was graduations, weddings, little league games, or just in a school play, we were all sitting together cheering the other on, ready to help them take on the world. Now there would be a new addition to our team, another member to guide and teach. I looked around again to each member of my family’s face. Cammi was running over to Caitlyn with her arms open, ready to wrap her in a hug. You could hear Sophie on the other side of the phone yelling, “I am going to be an aunt!” My father was walking over to the table with a face that was unmistakable excitement, ready with a second hug locked and loaded. Finally I looked over at my brother. Though he tried to play his smile off, you could still notice the smirk in the corner of his mouth. I just could not believe this moment. My sister, the one who would go out into the yard and kick the soccer ball with us, or ride bikes with us to the nearest gas station to buy Icees, was now starting her own family. She would be creating her own dinner time moments. She would now be leading her own team, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. It’s these moments that make me truly appreciate what I have been given. I realized that I am truly lucky to have received the small rewards such as this dinner or the ability to have my family all together in one place. We were all filled with excitement and anticipation for the memories to come, and the journey was only beginning.