Monday, May 14, 2012
Jesus and Chicken
I learned a lot this Mother's Day. For starters, I learned that next to Christmas and Easter, Mother's Day Sunday is the third largest attended church day of the year. I also learned that Mother's Day is Kentucky Fried Chicken's largest sales day of the year. So what this means is that when you set aside an entire day to honor and celebrate babies and love and the mamas who make it happen, there are two things moms want most...
Jesus and Chicken.
I think this might be the start of my next book ;).
(It's funny. When I was pregnant and used to dream about what my little boy would look like, this is exactly the face.)
My Mother's Day may not have been filled with a bucket of the original recipe, but it was filled with everything that I love about summer and being a mama. As a person, and especially as a working mom, I struggle with the guilt of relaxation. It's true that I make myself busy - I fill my time up with expectations and projects and to-dos to the point where when I do have a chance or opportunity to just sit, I feel guilty for doing so. My mind races. What should I be doing right now? What would be a better way to spend these next fifteen minutes? Time is a' wasting!
This weekend, I celebrated Mother's Day by telling that little voice inside my head to take a walk. I sat on a quilt for a picnic, and sat in my sun chair and got a tan and read my book. I sat in church, sat under a Maple tree in our backyard, and sat and rocked my nephew from a swing at the park. I sat and pandered over every bite of my apple pie baked from scratch on Saturday, and sat and watched the end of the Desperate Housewives series with a glass of fresh brewed iced tea late Sunday night in a quiet house while my boys slept. I sat, relaxed, and felt thankful how complete my life feels right now.
What else did we do this Mother's Day weekend?
I baked. As I sought out on my summertime bucket list's goal to make a perfect homemade pie, I quickly realized one of the secret ingredients...time. While Cruz took his afternoon nap and Beau mowed the lawn outside, I carefully and meticulously learned the ins and outs of pie-making from my kitchen. With the windows open and a pretty green tea towel on the table, I slowly but surely rolled and floured, kneaded and patted the perfect flaky pie crust. And when my crust broke in half or stuck to the table, I patiently tried again. Soon, I began to feel the reason so many women baked pies - I became this artist, calmly focused on shaping and molding this perfect dough into a delicious finished product. The process of baking this apple pie was even better than the product - caramel apple sauce and all...
We picnicked under a pretty Oak tree that looked like something from a Robert Frost poem. Sunday was about as gorgeous as you could get - mid-seventies, bright blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds, and only a slight, subtle breeze just when you needed it. We picnicked, walked through the park on Cruz time, and fed an ambitious group of geese our leftover hamburger buns. We paraded through prairies, spotted fish in the creek, and watched Cruz attempt to blow the seeds from a dandelion, only to get them stuck on his lips. Picnics are my favorite summertime ritual and Pipac Lake is one of my favorite local destinations.
(On Cruz - all Gap (polo, striped shirt, shorts, and sandals); On Me - American Eagle dress)
We had pizza at the park. The perfect end to our weekend. We chased Cruz and Charly around the playground, rocked baby Hayes on the swings, and had Pizza Hut deliver pizza to our picnic tables. The night was peaceful, the kids were happy, and life was nothing more than a breath of fresh air and the calm assurance that we only have three 'Sunday nights' left of the school year.
I just love watching Cruz and Charly together. It's so fun to watch them interact. The minute Cruz saw Charly climb out of the car, they started running to each other, only to put the brakes on a little late, chest bump, and both end up on their butts! Charly calls Cruz, 'Shrooze,' and when Cruz talks to her, he gets really close, tilts his head to the side, and sometimes touches her hair. They watch each other, sometimes imitate each other, and clearly love each other by their cute little actions.
Sometimes it feels good to give up control for a little while. To let go and let God do the driving and live as simply and wholly as I can. It's liberating when I allow myself to let it happen, and so powerful when I can step back, sit, and watch it play out.