Friday, June 11, 2010

So what if dinner stunk?

I'll tell you so what! I spent two hours fixing it!  I started at 4:30, making homemade BBQ sauce, Neeley style! I made grilled bbq chicken, baked macaroni and cheese (with expensive smoked cheddar), and spinach salad. I did all this while Gary was at work and all three kids were hanging around. In hindsight I would've put on a two hour movie, but I didn't. I made them all play in the basement, and tried to ignore about 80% of the noises drifting up the stairs. Gary got home at his usual 6:30 time, and we were just about ready to sit down and eat. As I was serving the mac n cheese, I tasted it and realized that it tasted like onions, and onions only. I used too many. The onion taste was disappointing to me for two reasons: 1) I don't like onions, and 2) I couldn't even taste the yummy (expensive) smoked cheddar. That mac n cheese took a long time to make, and all I tasted was onion, a taste I don't even like.

Then, when we were all ready to eat, we cut into our chicken and realized it was not done. It was bone-in chicken breast (my favorite for grilling), but the breasts were thick, and I hadn't realized before I took them off the grill that they weren't done all the way through. I was upset, but Gary said it was no big deal and he put them in the microwave for a few minutes. I knew that the microwaving was necessary, but I just couldn't believe that I'd been working on this dinner for two hours. The chicken had a special Neeley rub on it, and then homemade bbq sauce while grilling. It took a long time to prepare and cook, and then there we were -- nuking it! This whole thing brought me to tears. Halfway through dinner I started crying. I know it was unnerving for my kids, but they were very kind and Gary was his usual supportive self, and I got over it.

Later while Gary was getting the kids to bed, and I was cleaning up, I started thinking about why this dinner experience made me cry. What was it, specifically? I'm not that great of a cook, so it's not altogether unusual for me to get to the table and be disappointed by the results. But this night I was devastated. I guess I'm just struggling with the fact that I don't have much in a day that I can point to and say, "I did that, and I did it well." I like doing things well, and there are many days when I feel like I have little to show for giving my very best. I guess as moms (and dads), we can't count our accomplishments in days or even weeks, but more in years. As we watch our kids grow and learn, as we see them become well-functioning members of society -- able to take care of themselves and care about others -- I guess we can say, "I did that (with a lot of help), and I did it well!"


  1. You, my sweet Lola, are a very wonderful friend!!! I love getting together with you and knowing everything will be just as it was!!!! :-)

  2. Thank you, Bookie! Let's get together soon!! :)

  3. Very nice writing, Laura. And I'm just sure you did many things for your children that day that were done very very well.