Friday, September 17, 2010
I sent the big kids downstairs to play today. There were two really good reasons. First, I needed to have a brief and professional conversation with the person at the door without endless interruptions such as, “Um, do you know what? Ya . . . I can . . . um, I have a . . . Um, do you know what?” or the less audible but ever-present hand sneaking across the periphery, as if I could have forgotten for one moment that five-ish years ago I became a mom. The second, and equally valid reason I sent them downstairs is because downstairs is awesome- a good balance of educational toys, junk from McDonald's hidden behind the educational toys where mom won’t find it and throw it away, and open space to run, jump, yell or pack incessantly for trips to far away lands, as the case may be. But banishment is banishment, even when it is to the Isle of Imagination. So, after useless protests from them and hand gestures from me that confirmed my seriousness, they headed down. On his way by me, Mister gave me the stink-eye and I heard him say to his big sister and he rounded the corner, “Let’s make Mom some Yucky Soup.”
Yucky Soup is something Mister likes to make downstairs in the retro-preschool kitchen, stocked with shiny wooden foods and empty bottles of curry, cumin and celery salt. He likes to make it for me. He likes to make it often.
And I think of all the bubbling caldrons of Yucky Soup I have stood over, sweating to make sure my culinary bitterness was just right for the occasion. Stirring and stirring, investing myself in poisons I inevitable spilled on myself along the way. The tricky thing about Yucky Soup, when served up by my son, is that it looks pretty much the same as all the other tasty wooden treats he brings me. I only know it is Yucky Soup if he tells me. Which he usually does, because isn’t that the point?
For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." Proverbs 30:33