The Kitchen is closed… at least for a couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, it was WONDERFUL having all three of the boys home for the holidays but I have to admit, I’d forgotten how much of my time is spent in the kitchen while they are here. The best thing about the empty nest has been how easy it is to prepare food for two people neither of whom is a teenage male. I mean, when it is just the two of us we never run out of milk or bread but the boys had not been home for a day before I realized we were three sips away from a milk catastrophe!
Extra mouths also seemed to be more prevalent this holiday. My boys love their friends as do I, but not when they forget to tell me that they are all staying for dinner. Multiple times over the break, I’d realize about five minutes before meal time that there were anywhere from one to five extra guys in the house… oops! Hard to stretch seven corn muffins for ten people. Oh some of the time it was my own fault, I simply forgot there were extra people there but in my defense, a few times I didn’t even know there was one non-family member in the house much less four!
Yes, it was a wonderful holiday with some great memories made and stories that we’ll tell for years to come. Sure right now the house seems pretty quiet, and truthfully I really do miss the chaos of having them all here. But just between me and you, my grocery bill and kitchen are glad for the break. Now, where did I put the book I was reading before they got home…
There is nothing worse than uncertainty… the phone call that says there may be a problem with your mom but they won’t know until they run a test in the morning. What to do? Drive across the state to sit and wait just in case? Or stay home in hopes that it is nothing. It’s especially troubling when you’re also packing your son to leave in two days for a semester abroad and you are torn. Go be with your mom or stay and get your son off? It’s not a fun or easy decision…it’s one that no one wants to make.
I’ve always been close to my mom, especially since we share a lot of similarities not the least of which is a tremendous love for reading and the beach (and yes, reading at the beach is HEAVEN to both of us!!) My boys will tell you that she is the best cook in the world and that her hoe cakes are the greatest food known to man. My mom never meets a stranger and shares Tim’s love of talking to people. I cannot even begin to count the number of times we’ve been in line at a store and my mom will start a conversation with a total stranger… yes a TOTAL STRANGER people!!
Mom also possesses great genetics. She looks way younger than she is and always has. It was at my very first wedding shower in 1989 in a receiving line at the front door with my mom and Tim’s mom that I learned firsthand what it’s like to have a beautiful, young looking mom. I was talking with a friend during a lull when a woman walked up to my mom and said, “You MUST be the bride!” I spun around so fast my shoulder pads almost flew out my sleeves! My first instinct was to march over there and firmly say that I was the bride but then I noticed my mom. She’d never looked younger or more beautiful as she was laughing and correcting the kind lady. For many years people asked if my mom was my sister and truth be told, I was flattered for her (and I like to think it bodes well for me too…good genes are hereditary, right?!?!)
So in the midst of all this swirling in my mind about should I stay or should I go (name that band….The Clash), I did what I always do in these situations. I called my mom. I knew I’d be able to tell from her voice how she really was and if I needed to go be with her (which I didn’t and she is totally fine!) Yes, I’m thankful for many things this holiday season but at the very top of my list is that I can still pick up the phone and talk with my mom. So if you’re ever in line at a store and a beautiful brunette old enough to be my mom starts talking to you, say hi to my mom for me!!
It’s New Year’s Eve Eve which is one of my favorite days of the year. Why? No pressure… nobody asks about my plans for the day or the night, football is on, no need to dress up and typically I’m enjoying my Christmas decorations knowing they are about to come down. Also, no one asks about my New Year’s resolution. Good thing too because I don’t make one any more.
Years ago my resolutions would either be exercise more, eat/drink better or get organized. I know, not very original and they typically didn’t pan out after more than a few weeks…at most. But like the rest of the free world, I know the beginning of a new year is a time for fresh starts, a reset button on your life if you will but I also think that brings way too much pressure. Why not just take the New Year and use it embrace who you are. Why must I be organized as long as I know where my stuff is? Who cares if my house looks slightly less than HGTV worthy? If I am content with my caffeine intake why should I feel pressure to change that? (hello… I don’t like the taste of water and going cold turkey drinking only water is not going to change that.) To me it all boils down to this: am I really doing it for the right reason if the only reason is that I feel like I’m supposed to??
Years ago I was telling my dad about someone who I didn’t think liked me. He then pretty much changed my life by saying, “Well Wendy, I’m sorry for them because you’re a pretty great person and they’re missing out.” Wow!! What dad made me realize was that I am who I am and there is no reason to change that… unless I want to.
But just to change things up, maybe I will give in to the pressure and make a New Year’s resolution this year. I resolve to stress less about things I have no control over and be more present in each and every moment. Or maybe I’ll resolve to read more books. Yeah! Let’s go with that last one… its one I’m sure I can keep!!
Thanksgiving is almost here and there are a few things that I JUST know will happen. At some point the boys will start wrestling… in the den… all over the furniture… Tim will join in… someone will get hurt (probably Tim because he forgets he’s not 25 anymore… but don’t tell him I said that!) We will make plans as a family to do something but Luke will realize at the last minute he already has plans. Oops!! At some point the guitar, ukulele and harmonica will come out for an impromptu jam session. There will be a back porch session late one night where ALL the world’s problems will be solved. There will be at least one ball thrown … in the house… it will become a contest of some sort… something will get broken… the boys will put on their puppy dog faces to tell me how sorry they are… I’ll try to be mad but instead I’ll laugh… life will go on.
It’s always different when the boys come home for a holiday because they’ve been keeping their own schedule for months and it NEVER meshes with ours. Our morning starts around 7:00am… their morning starts about mid-afternoon. We go to bed the same day we got up… they don’t go to bed until early the next day. We eat at normal times… they just eat… and eat… and eat.
I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t love every minute regardless of the chaos. I have simply learned that with these three boys of mine, life is NEVER going to go as planned so that is just what I plan on. Well, that and buying out the grocery store. Happy Thanksgiving Week Y’all!!!