It was the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year. I rushed to the mall to buy Shona a new dress for the new year celebration. While at the mall, I walked through the food court there. I was never attracted to that place and never wanted t try an of the food there. After all, at the mall, there are so many other nice places to eat. Why would I want to eat a the sad looking food court?
I walked pass a small family - parents with two young children. They were just finishing their food. And true to my suspicion, the food din look good at all. But the focus on the food left on the table was momentary as my attention was drawn to the expressions on their faces. They were clearly not very rich people. I think they could be migrants. Eating a the food court in the mall was probably a treat especially to the small kids. I do not know what they thought of the food but I could tell they were so joyful spending that meal together. It could have been a special occasion. Well, it really must have been a special occasion. After all, being together with the family happily *is* a special occasion, isn't it?
I have seen families eating together, in expensive places and having good food, but having none of the joy I see in the faces of that small family that day. Instead, i see in the faces of sme of them that they would rather be somewhere else with some other people. Other families will have the children (and parents even) on their mobile devices, not uttering a word between themselves.
Truth be told, one of my fears is that in the future, when I am out with my children for a meal and they have tha kind of expression where they wished they were elsewhere instead of being with me.
But I digress.
I am reminded that it is better to have simple food - even tasteless food - if the company is sweet. That would be better than having abalone or lobster but sharing it with company that is cold.
I see that migrant family and I pray that when my kids are that old and I take them out for a meal, we shall the same happiness that I saw that day at that table. I pray for them that they will always have that experience in every meal they have.
Food is important to us. Last night, my fb timeline was filled with photo after photo of good food. I was sad to see some students overseas talking about missing the food back home and their mother's cooking - instead of their mothers!!!
I hope that they all enjoyed their food of course - but more importantly, they enjoyed their family reunion even more.
Well, I did! The food was simple this time but pretty delicious!!! More importantly, I enjoyed being with my family and we all enjoyed our time together.
Happy Chinese New Year!
*A popular song from the late 60s which has been widely covered by many subsequent artists.