My mom tried. She really did. She tried to prepare me for college life, for ultimately one day living on my own, and perhaps even for marriage and motherhood. I was not having it. Blah! I wanted to play Atari instead. I wanted to delicately navigate Frogger to the safe zone while wearing my thick, ribbed socks tucked neatly inside my rainbow vinyl Reeboks. “Sugar blossom, come watch and perhaps assist whilst I create delicious sustenance for the brood.” I rolled my eyes up to the ceiling, although it did take a bit longer for that to happen, with my eye sockets heavily trapped inside a mascara spider monster from hell. I jostled the joystick with my jelly bracelet filled arm, hoping to disintegrate this massive centipede that was threatening all life as we know it. My blinding orange fluorescent sweatshirt was not to be outdone by my blonde, teased and hair sprayed, impenetrable, bullet proofed and wind resistant, perfectly coiffed hair do. There I sat helping Ms. Pacman fight the battle of a lifetime, and Betty Crocker was a callin.’ No thank you! No thank you to the culinary tutoring. My mom actually heard my head move when I shook my head no. As I propped my heavy head up (more than 8 lbs) with my fingerless Madonna glove laced hands and switched legs, crossing now the right stonewashed one over the left exposed ripped out knee, I pontificated. I thought long and hard. Mmmmm…no. I have more important things to do.
Sometimes I will make up my ADD riddled brain on my way home from school with my car packed full of screaming kids while discussing international politics on my cell phone while simultaneously taking a mental, random inventory of how many books I have lined up on the 3rd row of my bookshelf at home, that I am definitely going to cook that pheasant under glass tonight! Tonight! Because I, of all people, always understand my own shortcomings. And I get that I am not the bland, mediocre type of person who follows rules NOR do I ever split hairs trying to make sure that I have all of the ingredients on hand! Oh, bother!
As I am home, trying to help my kids with their homework, wondering which black hole force field the latest permission slip must’ve fallen into, and mentally calculating how many steps there are leading from the front porch to my bathroom upstairs, I begin to cook. I didn’t actually have the pheasant, but I did have some frozen salmon patties. I didn’t have anything that could even pass as a tantalizing sauce, but I did have some moldy, 2 week old parmesan cheese, and 1 can of beets. I did have that.
My precious children gather around with their faces full of glee. “Mommy, can we help?” “What can we do?” “We want to cook!” I look at my babies. And I have to face my prehistoric life choices face on. I look at them and I say: “Let’s wait for Grammie.”