As the living room is filling up with boxes, and the car has been cleaned of all extra soccer gear, I find myself counting the days left with my girls by the kinds of meals I will make- Mediterranean fare tonight, with family tomorrow, and homemade pizza on Saturday so we have leftovers in the car. I might even throw in a batch of waffles Saturday morning.
As long as I can remember, food has been one way of showing love in our family. My dad made eggs and sausage for breakfast on Sundays, which was followed by a massive cookie baking operation with my mom and grandmother. Mom usually prepared a roast or casserole for dinner, conveniently timed to go into the oven right after the cookies so that it was finished in time for dinner, which was usually during half time of the Bronco game. Even though my mom worked full time, there was always a homemade meal to grace our dinner conversations.
I love preparing food- There is something wonderful about the sight of a counter filled with vegetables, the smell of onions and garlic sauteing in a pan, the silky feel of a peach in my hands as I cut it for cobbler. When we sit down to eat a meal together, we are sharing food and our lives, the ups and downs, our feelings about college, leaving home, and empty nest. And our emotions are as mixed up as the vegetables in the salad, the sweet cucumber and avocado along with the sour lime dressing. It is time for the girls to go, and I want them to stay. They want to stretch their wings and I want to stretch mine. They would like my homemade meals, and I am looking forward to cooking for two.
Everything is ready to go after the family walk with the dog. Will walking slow, eating with intention, counting every bite, stop or at least pause the inevitable? No, of course not, yet it will allow me to live in the moment, loving what is, even if there are tears. Food, family, love, fun. My life is full, and I am grateful.