This at dinner last night….
Genevieve: This quesadilla is disgusting. What kind of cheese is this? Why is it white? Is this that sharp cheddar? Why can’t you make it like Daddy…with the yellow cheese?
Charlie: It’s delicious.
Genevieve: No it’s not. I’m not eating it. Pass. (Shoves plate with quesadilla to the center of the kitchen table.)
Cassie: Just have broccoli for dinner then.
Genevieve: This is NOT how I wanted the dinner to go. When will Daddy be home?
Cassie: Very late.
(Genevieve begins to whimper dramatically.)
Charlie: I’ll have another, please.
(Genevieve shoots an evil scowl at her brother.)
Charlie: You know you should be grateful that you have food. There are a lot of people in this world who are starving right now.
Genevieve: (sniffling) There are?
Charlie: Everywhere. All over the place. Here in this country, in New Jersey, in this town. People who are just so hungry all the time and they can’t get enough good healthy food to eat or clean water to drink. So you should think about that when you push away perfectly good food. You and I are totally lucky to eat.
(After his brief speech, without another word from anyone, Genevieve pulls the plate of quesadilla back to her spot at the table and proceeds to eat every single morsel of food given to her. Chewing merrily, Charlie makes eye contact with me for a brief second. His deep blue eyes twinkle, his lips crinkle slightly into a shadow of a smile and he gestures with a tilt of his chin toward his sister’s clean plate. Charlie The Kid: my hero, once again.)