‘When you love and laugh abundantly, you live a beautiful life.’
Since I opened up the topic of motherhood guilt with my last blog post, I thought it might be a good time to make a confession. As I said yesterday, as a mom to Ajay I have second-guessed myself in ways that are mind-boggling. My late in life baby that was supposed to arrive with the same calm Buddha temperament that his dad has, instead came screaming into the world like a Nascar driver rounding that final turn. It seems that I am forever one step behind life as I work to keep up with this kid, and the lovely cha-cha style dance that we have done together as mother and son now for nine years, shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
For example, a few Friday’s ago Ajay’s class had a Valentine’s Day party. In keeping with my usual attempts at ‘Good Motherhood’ I volunteered to bring in a food item. Well soon after I committed came the follow up email stating that this was going to be a healthy food item kind of soiree, so sugary treats were not an option. Damn- the gluten free funfetti cookies that are my go to party item were now off limits. (I freely admit, that because Ajay has been on a strict gluten free diet for almost 4 years now, we tend to not limit his sugar intake in the way we probably should…)
Undeterred I hopped onto Amazon.com and ordered some sweet little ‘X’s and O’ cookie cutters and the night before his Valentine’s party I proceeded to cut a variety of cheeses into these shapes. Well when Ajay rounded the corner into the kitchen and saw my little works of art- God help us all. He threw a conniption fit of epic proportions. There was no way HE was going to bring ‘hugs and kisses pieces of cheeses’ to his classmates. Since he is still missing his two front teeth, hearing him string all those plural words together was enough to bring me down to my knees in laughter.
Well after the very convincing argument Ajay delivered to me, on why 9 year old boys do not give shaped cheddar slices to girls on Valentine’s day, I conceded. So out went my pimped up cheese plate- and before those little protein laden X’s and O’s could even hit the bottom of the trash bin, I could hear that roaring train of Bad Motherhood chugging along in the background. It got louder as I looked at the clock (8pm) and tried desperately to think of a low sugar, acceptable snack that I could bring to the next day’s festivities.
I finally settled on something that I had all the ingredients for that was healthy, gluten free, and easy for a room full of children to eat. And alas, my little darling was on-board with this one- so sweet and sour meatballs it was.
The next day I showed up to the party on time with my heaping tray of meatballs. I compared my fare to the other offerings- fruit, crackers, pizza. That Bad Mom train in the distance quieted down- I was holding my own with this one.
I put my tray of meatballs down and I will be darned if those 30 children did not act like hungry piranhas and gobble them up one and all. I think I may have even smirked a little bit at the half tray of pizza that remained once the party was over. (My meatballs had clearly trumped that pizza.) None of the other mothers said a word as I proudly picked up my empty tray. (I chalked their silence up to meatball envy.)
I was still on my ‘Good Mom’ high later than night when we went to dinner with my very Catholic parents. As we all perused our menus, my mother made the offhand comment to Ajay (whose school is a Catholic School), ‘Now honey, don’t forget this is the first Friday of Lent- so no meat.’
That train whistle that went off in the back of my mind just about knocked me out of my seat.
HOLY CRAP- I had fed a tray of MEATballs to 30 kids at a Catholic school on the first Friday of Lent.
No wonder those little buggers scarfed them up like they had not eaten in days. (And now I understood why everyone was so quiet, and why there was no pepperoni adorning that damn pizza I was so proud of besting.)
…After I made my confession to everyone at the dinner table (Bless me mother for I have sinned….) my penance was to laugh until I cried…. (we all did.)
And so goes the rocket ride that is my life with Ajay …. He and I careening through space together, holding on by the seat of our pants- and laughing all the way.
Sinful meatballs and shaped cheddar slices aside- I wouldn’t trade our wild ride for any other ride in the Universe…. Although I do still hold out a little hope that those calm Buddha genes will one day kick in 🙂