Tuesday, March 5, 2013
After she spent her first morning of spring break in her underpants watching Pioneer Woman Cooks, and episode after episode of Bobby Flay, my girl announced it was time for lunch, and she was preparing it.
I was working in the office downstairs. She told me to stay put as her cast and crew of ingredients were assembled on the counter ... I saw Ranch, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, and a Lunchable before she shooed me out of her way.
I was bangin' away on my crap for the day when she arrived at my elbow, plate in hands, Beagle on heels some minutes later. Her smile was 14 miles wide. She literally, was beaming.
On my Toy Story plate was a bowl of homemade "sauce"- the aforementioned Ranch, BBQ sauce, ketchup, and diced-up Grandma S. homemade horseradish dills. Served as accompaniments were Ritz crackers and 'Lemonades' Girl Scout cookies.
And, of course those nasty joy-killing thoughts crept into my brain as I accepted my lunch from my daughter. You know, the logic that usually puts a damper on unadulterated awesomeness? Like, I had already eaten. Like, I avoid gluten and processed sugar as much as possible. Like, Ranch with what?! And lastly ... oh, those pickles. Those beloved pickles from my Grandma! My precious stock of limited supply pickles of love!
You know what? My Grandma would be thrilled to pieces to learn her great-granddaughter was cookin' in a snowstorm in her underpants for her Mama's love and satiety.
I pulled my nude chef into my lap and hugged and thanked her for my meal. I told her how impressed I was with presentation and that the sauce was ridiculous. I ladled those chunks of cut-by-the-hand-of-a-five-year-old pickles onto those buttery, gluteny Ritz and savored each bite. I twisted the cookies apart in Oreo fashion and licked the icing clean from the shortbread. I made that meal count.
I also chased it with plenty of water!
I offered the lil' dude several opportunities to try her creation. She balked at each offer.
She simply said she made me lunch because she knew I was busy and she wanted to help me. That's true intention, too. There wasn't any ulterior motives at play, either. Make Mama food; make Mama happy.
There's been countless times I've been delighted by motherhood. Like, those times when her star really started to shine and her personality was revealed- when people compared her to me and commented on similarities us. There have been times when she has picked up on sadness around her and hugged the crap out of who (or, let's be honest, what) needed hugging. Times where I said out loud, "I have done my job here," in any regard to being a boastful parent.
But when she handed me plate of love yesterday, I really, really knew she's already got life on lock. Doing things for the people she loves simply to revel in the happiness and appreciation of tiny acts of selfless love.
And when she says, by making you/him/her/it happy, I am happy, I know she means it because that, America, is unteachable. There is no chapter on raising selfless, charitable, and generous kids. You can hope ... that's about as far as you can take it, though.
When I went to put my dishes away, I saw she had even cleaned the kitchen. Put the ingredients away, and put the cutting board and knife (a butter knife) in the sink. This time, my eyes threatened to spill over. She was so intentional down to the last detail. I had expected (that logic again rearing its ugly head) the kitchen to look exactly like a five-year-old had made lunch in it for the first time ever ... bottles on their side, contents leaking onto my cabinets, floors, and refrigerator doors left open and dishes strewn about. There wasn't even a drop of pickle juice to be found, no stray crumbs.
Just one overwhelmed, grateful Mama.
And, one sad, unfed Beagle.