20 Oct 2010

Mother. In. Law.

5 Comments Cooking/Baking, Family

Oh shit. My mother-in-law reads this blog. All the personal stuff, all the complaining, all the stories about her beloved grandson, all the evil things I plan to share about her son, she reads. She told me. She was very complimentary and said she enjoyed my writing but that’s beside the point. She reads this blog.

I’ll tell you why it makes me a bit jumpy. It’s the recipes. Yup. Not the personal crap or the other crap, or the other crap. It’s the recipes. Know why? Because when I first met my mother-in-law I didn’t know how to do a gosh darn thing in the kitchen. (Well, I knew how to do SOME things, but I can’t print them here because my mother-in-law reads this blog. Let’s just say I got an engagement ring out of it.) One time on a trip to Oregon, when Russ and I were still dating, I asked if I could help with dinner and she gave me the toddler-sized job of cutting celery. A test, perhaps. I failed. I cut the celery slowly and poorly, one stalk at a time. My mother-in-law stepped over to me, having just plucked and cleaned three chickens in the time I cut half a stalk and said, “You know Lisa, you can cut them three at a time, like this.” She then took the knife and showed me. And we laughed. We laughed a lot. My laugh was saying, “Oh my god. I feel like such an inept asshole. This woman thinks I’m a bimbo.” Her laugh was saying, “Oh my god. My poor son is going to starve to death in that apartment in California. This girl is a bimbo.”

Since then a lot has changed. Now when we visit the in-laws, she trusts me to make three quarters of a meal, if not a whole meal all by myself sometimes! She’ll even ask me cooking advice every once in a while, which I personally think is just to make up for how I still feel about the celery incident. She seems to feel less like her son is being held prisoner and only being fed stale bread and cloudy water through a slot in his metal door. And I think she likes the way her grandson is fattening up.

She and my step-father-in-law are coming to visit for a few days at the end of the month. They usually like to go out to dinner when they’re here, (which I find suspicious), but this time I think I’ll surprise them with a gourmet meal of celery soup, celery stew, and roasted celery. I think she’ll laugh. And her laugh will say, “This girl is a bimbo. But I like her.”

15 Oct 2010

Toddler Senility

2 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler

You know what gets me? Garrett won’t remember any of this time in his life. I guess he’ll remember a feeling, a general sense of well-being and security (hopefully). But he won’t remember all the cool stuff we do together or all the amazing things he does on a daily basis. He won’t remember how much he loves dinosaurs or how he wakes me up in the morning by saying, “Mom! Ma! Mommy? Mama! Mom. Mom. Mommy?” He won’t remember how proud we were of him when he got potty trained or how much we laugh when he does his “crazy run” in the living room. I hate that he won’t remember the first time he actually liked his broccoli or how we try to get him to tell us about his day at the dinner table.

He won’t remember how excited he was when he saw a Blue’s Clues bouncy in our backyard on the day of his second birthday, or how much fun he had spraying his friends with water on his third. He won’t remember how it felt to feed a cow an apple for the first time or how hot it was the day we went to the Oregon State Fair.

It seems so odd to me that he’s living so much life every day and he won’t remember a damn thing about it. I mean, at three you’re learning new words, new sensations, new tastes and smells. You’re meeting new people and seeing things daily for the very first time. Garrett’s excited to see airplanes and the moon and he loves to pet dogs and ask people their name. How do you take in so much information and not remember later on in life how it all got there?

I think part of it makes me sad because I love the moments we share, and I wish he’d know years from now how great they were. But he won’t. And that’s just odd to me. I wonder why it’s set up that way? Are we not meant to remember this time because it’s too precious? Is it because everything else that comes after this part is so dull that remembering the majesty of the beginning would destroy our souls? Or maybe there’s just not room in our brains to hold all the new stuff we’re learning AND bank it all in our memories.

I try to write as much as possible in his baby book and make some albums of photos. But I wish he was going to remember how perfect he is right now. I wish he’d be able to look back and see how much he makes us laugh and how lucky I feel to be with him, even at 6:30 in the morning when all I really want is a cup of coffee or to go back to sleep… Even in those times, maybe especially in those times, I wish he was going to remember.

But the years will go on and, God willing, we will create new memories as a family. And I will do my damndest to make those times memorable for us and for Garrett.

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