My son was not happy with the fact that it was his night for clean-up and tried to pawn his duties off on his sister, who was having none of it. Then the insults begin and before you know it, I'm refereeing. The younger sister is definitely the more mature of the two, both because of the boy's disability and, if I don't say so myself, because she's a girl and he's a boy. They were extremely close growing up so I guess it was inevitable that when they reached their teens, they'd become mortal enemies. Well, not quite, but it sure does seem that way sometimes.
Contrast the scene at my table with Mancini's The Holy Family at Rest. I have posted on this painting before, but I think I have a new appreciation for it. What I didn't see previously is the fatigue on St. Joseph's face, yet despite his exhaustion, he gives in to the charms of his foster-Son and plays the little game of take the strawberries. Mary holds Baby Jesus in her tired arms and I wonder if is she thinking of what a good man Joseph is, to enter into this journey of the unknown that has thus far been anything but easy The exhaustion of the parents has no bearing on the Baby, as they do not allow their trials to become His.
My husband and I never had to flee from persecution. We certainly have not had the trials that Mary and Joseph faced. Still, I would hope that whatever differences we have, our children have not been affected by them. I can think of nothing more unfair than for children to bear the brunt of their parents' dislike for one another. When I underwent my conversion, I made a decision that I would no longer give into unkind words hurled at loud volumes. I had a couple of lapses but fortunately, nothing too terrible. Certainly not two cats fighting in a bag (thanks for that one, Pablo).
We always give thanks before every meal, even when we're eating out. We don't all go to Mass at the same time, but we all go. We're not extraordinary by any means. But we're trying.