Kind of like falling in love

Archived | May 5, 2009 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I get to laughing like that and I forget where I start and everything else begins. I like that feeling. Kind of like falling in love, where you lose yourself in the other and it’s a while before you regain composure and find yourself again. I suppose you could compare it to being a parent, too. It’s all this powdery goo goo glory and “How cute is that?” and “My, he’s got your eyes” and you’re all proud of them and they do what you say for the most part and you’ve got this parent/child rapport going and…wait. No. I take it back. Being a parent and a good belly laugh don’t have much in common. Love and laughter, maybe. But those sweet babies grow up and turn to you one day and say something like, “I’m going to ignore you until you start making sense” or “I’ll do it when I feel like doing it” or “I can’t wait until I graduate so I don’t have to live here anymore.” Which is why, each year, as Mother’s Day rolls around, one might feel less and less guilty about that ever-growing sense of “It’s Payback Time.”
Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway. To really sock it to ’em and present them with The List: Mow the lawn, do all the laundry, Murphy’s Oil Soap all the floors, wash every window inside and out, scrub the showers and tub, and vacuum under the bed. Clean out all the dead Asian lady beetles from inside the ceiling lights and clear the random cobwebs drifting here and there throughout the house. Pick all the dead leaves out of the landscaping rock, scrape the earthworm carcasses from the driveway and dispose of them properly. Wash my car, vacuum my car, give me a foot massage, bake me a seven-layer cream cheese fudge truffle something-or-other nasty dessert, and let me watch Sixty Minutes for sixty solid silent minutes, and let the bath shortly after be in peace. And leave on the counter, before you go to bed, a short essay on why your life is beautiful.
I have this “A Frog-a-Day” calendar, and I like it. But sometimes the Frog of the Day looks at me in a way I don’t like. This is good because it reminds me I am not Manager of the Universe. A good reminder when you’re a mother. Because there’s just not all that much you can control, and what you can control sometimes does the old shifterooni on you and you lose control of that, too. So what you do is figure out what you can count on and what you know for sure, and the rest of it’s a crapshoot.
As for Mother’s Day, what I want is for my children to be happy (or at least civil to one another) while I spend some time at a bookstore or taking a walk by a lake or just sitting on a bench watching other mothers and people who aren’t mothers enjoy the day. By the time I get home Mr. Sundberg will have finished the paper and the kids will be hungry, and perhaps we’ll go out to a place we’ve never been, a Mongolian barbecue buffet, and eat until we’re a bit too full, and drive home as the sun sets, where there will be cards and some chocolate and a new spatula or two, and few dandelions in a juice glass. The kids won’t have written essays on why their lives are beautiful, but that’s fine. Some things don’t need words, now, do they.
Cinnamon Peach Cobbler
I’ve been craving peach cobbler since the snow turned to rain. Here’s a recipe that’s been in the family awhile, and is best right out of the oven. I prefer the fresh peaches. This one’s good for a Mother’s Day visit. Bake it up in a lovely dish to leave with your mom.
5 cups sliced peaches, canned or fresh
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
6 T butter, melted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 2 ½ T sugar
Ground cinnamon
Sprinkle peaches with lemon juice, stir to coat and spread in 8×8, lightly-buttered baking pan. Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add egg and toss with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over peaches. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Serve warm with cream. Sprinkle lots of cinnamon evenly over cobbler.