When we last left our heroine (me), she was pondering how big love is needed to cover over the multitude of her child's sins (tantrums, capricious demands). Patient, hopeful, persevering love is what one needs to parent a three-year-old. And as it's been almost three weeks since my last blog, you can see that maintaining that love has required my full attention.
Over the last few months, I have been praying a bold prayer on a semi-regular basis: Lord, please humble me. The reasons I felt the need to pray this are not necessary to recount (and wouldn't sound humble). But I will share that God is very faithful to grant this particular request. I actually think God might now be chuckling at my expense, or giving me affectionate ribbing the way my best friend or husband might.
I have as many insecurities as the next woman, but I'm pretty confident in myself as a cook. I can follow advanced recipes and make things up on my own, and my meals usually turn out pretty well. On the other hand, it's not easy for me to order takeout or heat frozen entrees: I have guilt if I don't prepare meals from scratch. But part of my Imperfectionist philosophy at this stage as a mother of young children includes working towards freedom in this area.
Twice this week, Imperfectionism has backfired for me.
The first instance: I had plans on Tuesday to meet some dear girlfriends for dinner. I bought Costco's uber-fattening fettucine Alfredo for my husband and kids to eat in my absence and was feeling pretty good about it. Until 4:45 when my sister in law called to check if she was still welcome for dinner at my house that night. Plans with both sister and girlfriends had changed over the last couple weeks and I had lost track! So April, who is a NYC Culinary Institute graduate and pastry chef at a prestigious gourmet restaurant got to come to my house and eat reheated warehouse pasta and cold left-over salmon out of a Ziploc bag.
Second humbling moment in the kitchen (which actually could be called humiliating): Tonight I went to the fridge intent on making a pot of Italian meatball soup. But when the ground beef appeared less than fresh, I immediately went to a brilliant plan B: tortellini soup with ham and Swiss chard, all made from remnants in my fridge, mostly organic. Feeling extremely efficient and housewifely, I dished up the soup complete with fresh shredded Parmesan. I was on the phone with a girlfriend as I ladeled, and she was feeling inferior to me, as she served her kids frozen pizza and mango for dinner. That is until she heard my seven year old screech, "There's a bug in my soup!"
"Oh, there is not," I said. Quick look in the soup. "Oh, okay, there's one little bug. It must have just fallen in there." Finish the conversation with my friend and come to the supper table, the heart and soul of our happy home. Seven year old is crying. "I can't eat this. There are too many bugs!"
I look in my bowl. "Those black dots are just pepper, honey." My husband clears his throat.
"Amanda," he says, "The pepper has legs." Closer look in the soup. Tiny dead black bugs with wings are stuck to my tortellini. Turns out, the organic farmer's market Swiss chard from the bottom of my veggie crisper hadn't been washed.For some reason, though, my husband is still manfully spooning soup into his mouth. My three year old, who won't eat anything if it has flecks of green in it (something really sick like oregano or thyme) is happily fishing the nats out of her soup and then eating the ham and noodles. She had consumed almost the entire bowl by the time I sat down.
While my deeply tolerant husband drove off to Carls Jr., I sat on the front porch and called my girlfriend back. She felt lots, lots better about herself and the dinner she had just served her children by the time we hung up.
As for me, I think I'm ready to start praying a new pray. Humility? Check.