conversations with hank


(this conversation was originally in Portuguese and translated in full for your convenience.)

Dalia: Bom Apetite!

Me: Smells great.

Hank: I love my Avó’s (grandmother’s) food.

Pai: Thanks, mom.

Me: You love it because it is made with love.

Dalia: Of course!

Molly: DAH! De de de DAH! (More! More rice and beans!)

Me: (observing) You know, I have been thinking lately that Amália looks a lot like Dalia.

Pai: She does.

Dalia: You think?

Me: I do.

Hank: She would if she had those wrinkles and her neck like Avó (grandmother).

(pregnant pause)

Dalia: (bursting into hysterical laughter)

Pai: (snickering)

Me: (covering my mouth laughing)

Molly: AH! HA! (clapping beans everywhere)

Dalia: (positively purple with laughter) This is true, son.

Me: (trying to regain composure) Yes, but the next time you notice differences in age don’t point it out. Some people are sensitive about aging, especially physically.

Hank: Oh, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean it bad.

Dalia: Don’t worry, son! I completely agree and I didn’t always have these wrinkles and this neck and someday you’ll have them, too. It’s natural. I am not angry.

Hank: (embarrassed, eyes filling with tears) I didn’t know.

Me: It is alright. Don’t be upset! I only wanted to tell you for the next time, not to upset you now. See, look here. We all think you’re right and that it was the best thing to be said at this table so far!

Pai: Don’t be embarrassed.

Dalia: We’re family.

Me: Wrinkles and all!

Hank: (shy) I’m sorry, avó (grandmother). I love you. You are beautiful.

Dalia: Thank you, son as are you.

Molly: DAH DA! (BEANS!!!!)