“What shall we have for dinner tonight?” I ask the girls.
“Well… there are lots of potatoes. We could have shepherd’s pie,” suggests Imogen.
Gemma-Rose gets out her fabulous orange top-of-the-line potato peeler and starts peeling, and later we enjoy a delicious shepherd’s pie.
The next day I ask, “Any ideas for dinner, girls?”
“We could make a chicken curry and add plenty of sweet potato and potato,” suggests Sophie licking her lips.
Gemma-Rose again peels a mountain of potato with her trusty peeler, and we enjoy a spicy chicken and potato curry.
Of course, I ask the usual dinner question the next day.
“How about fish and mashed potato?” This is one of Gemma-Rose’s favourite meals.
“Have we got enough potato?”
Charlotte checks the pantry. “Plenty!”
Plenty? Haven’t we eaten our whole supply yet? I shrug my shoulders and Gemma-Rose starts peeling.
A few days later we are still eating potatoes. I vaguely wonder if there is a never-ending supply. But I shrug my shoulders without thinking too much more about it, and peel and cook and enjoy. Eventually we eat so many potatoes I can’t help thinking about them. Why do we have so many potatoes when I can’t remember buying any? Are they multiplying as fast as we are eating them? I can’t work it out.
And suddenly the answer pops into my head. Why didn't I work it out sooner?
When Duncan arrives home from work, I ask, “Do you know anything about potatoes, a never-ending supply of potatoes?”
Duncan grins. A huge smile lights up his whole face. “I wondered how long it would take you to mention the potatoes. I’ve been buying them from a road-side stall that I pass on the way to work.” He laughs with evident enjoyment.
Duncan is famous for his surprises. He likes to arrange special moments for the rest of the family, ones that will bring a smile to our faces or some joy to our day. He likes to use his amazing power.
It is the evening and the girls are wondering what to do. Duncan appears. “You could watch this… and eat these…” He hands the girls a DVD and a bag of chocolates he’s bought for them.
“Oh Duncan! You’re such a wonderful big brother!”
I walk into the lounge. On the table is a vase of lilies. “How long have they been there?” I wonder. I catch sight of Callum. “Did you buy me flowers?” I ask.
I can see him thinking about it: Did I? I sometimes buy Mum flowers . Yes, perhaps I did. “Well… um… yes,” he starts to say.
“No you didn’t!" Duncan appears in the doorway. His voice is indignant but he has a huge grin on his face. He’s the secret flower buyer. It’s another of Duncan’s Magical Moments.
Andy and I and the girls spend the afternoon at my parents’ house. We arrive home hungry and tired and no one feels like cooking dinner. On the kitchen bench is a note: “Dinner’s in the fridge. Help yourself. Love Duncan.” He has surprised us again.
Duncan is second in line, one of our adult children. Many people assume he is shy. But inside that quiet exterior is a surprising person. Duncan finished his arts degree last year and although he has been working a few casual jobs, he hasn’t yet found full time work. It isn’t easy, especially as we live in a small community away from the city.
Does God have something special in mind for him?
We keep praying and trusting…
We hope it will be something surprising. We hope Duncan, who spends so much time arranging magical moments for other people, will receive one of his own.
Does anyone else have young adults who are trying to find their place in the world?