It usually happens like this:
“Ding” goes my phone mid-afternoon on a Sunday.
“Can we come home for dinner?” Claire asks on text. “We” usually means Claire and two to four of her friends at school.
Claire attends college about five miles from home. I have a self-imposed rule that I don’t ask first if she wants to come home for dinner. I want her to feel as if she is hundreds of miles away. But, I’ve learned to have something on hand that I can pull together quickly (or pop into the freezer) on Sundays.
Tonight she walked in the door at about 5:20, bags of laundry in hand, two friends in tow. One of them happens to be Melanie’s daughter. And Melanie’s daughter happens to have a birthday today.
The girls are piled on the sofa. Basketball’s on the tv. A fire is in the wood stove, and a chicken’s roasting in the oven. Impromptu Sunday suppers have become one of my favorite moments of the week.