It is amazing to me how many ideas I have on how to control things.
I have had half a million ideas on how to control the food in this household in the last half hour alone (each time prompting the first line of this blog post).
I have had ideas on how to curb what the teens eat out of the freezer at midnight. How many flaming hot cheetos makes sense to eat in one sitting… How to balance kids wine with watermelon, why you should finish this bag of chips first before starting a new one…
It is true: I do find actual joy and solace in gems like how long big batches of popcorn stretch and perfectly hiding David’s rhubarb raspberry pie in the refrigerator.
And though I will continue to tuck Oreos away on top of the fridge, I grow in my desire to be more like David. David tends to shrug and laugh more than me, even when we are “almost out of snacks already”.
Even though he can grow annoyed by the incessant teenage grazing, his response is more “damn kids” as he pours the crumbs of the Doritos down the hatch. It loosens me up. I like being like that better than trying to control things. :)
I was tucking away a water bottle when I thought of my mother. I had just had one of those creative ways to shame come to mind and I was instinctively compelled to change my thinking. My mom would get so stressed out in the kitchen sometimes. And, because life is inevitably stressful and over the kitchen sink *is* the perfect place to cry, I don’t want to waste stress free days allowing anxiety about how the ice cream is gone.
Like for sure ice cream and anxiety are not supposed to go together.
Today was a marvelously relaxed day. The weather was perfect for being inside and keeping the kitchen humming. Eat, drink and be merry. No need for anxiety.
If I spend my time coming up with fun little rules and red tape, not only do I risk the joke being on me when the food I wanted them to avoid goes bad… I miss out on sharing the laissez-faire vibe with my soon to be husband.
If I was talking to the kids right now on how to make midnight meal decisions, I would not be writing and taking little peeks up to look over at him: enjoying a shrimp taco at the counter and watching the end of the Blackfish documentary.
It’s not the kids’ fault that I find self identity in an organized fridge and a clean kitchen floor. Nor is it their fault that I was raised with four others on a potluck budget, where you bank on church events for feasting. My love of a well run kitchen can sometimes take precedence over my actual love for them. And – for obvious reasons – I challenge that as wrong thinking.
I have a feeling as I keep letting go of my grip and desire to manage the snot (nod to COVID) out of the kids and, instead, replace that grip with being present and communicating: serving them and encouraging them, that I will resemble more and more my childhood best friend’s perfectly cool mom.
Laid back, comfortable behind the kitchen counter, a steak sizzling on the cast iron grill behind them. Ask her for a ginger ale or a pizza and you’d get a “sure, babe” through an afternoon buzzy smile.
See? Doesn’t that just sound so much better?
The end. :)