April 01, 2011

Dirt dip

Sometimes I look around me at all the people in the world and I think, "How did all their parents do it?"  I am certainly not the first woman to live through raising young kids, but sometimes I feel like it.  I had no idea what was coming when I burst out of the chapel doors with my veil flying in the breeze.


My kids are ravenous in the morning and sometimes there isn't time to cook oatmeal, scramble eggs, or bake biscuits before their tummies begin to ache.  So to get things started, I will open up a pile of bananas and pass them around, along with a little plastic bowl for each kid, into which I pour a mound of Ovaltine powder.  I've coined the experience "dirt dip" to get them excited about it.  It buys me enough time to put on a pair of clean jeans before the day takes off running.

I remember my mom when we were young.  She was tired, too, a lot of the time, but I remember her smiling.  I remember her hands as they held our favorite story books.  I have the same hands, unfortunately.  (They are cute hands, Mom, but you and I both know they are the first place we show our age).  Her breath smelled like instant coffee in the morning.  That smell is still comforting to me.  Her shoulders were always bony when I rested my head on her robe.  Her neck was soft.  Her cheeks were warm.  Her laugh was loud and her dinners were predictable.

I figure most of the things I worry about right now won't much matter in the long run.  My kids will remember their mom, and how I was present for them, and how I smelled, and how I laughed, and what I wore.  They will be comforted later in life by long straight hair, perhaps, or vanilla perfume...or the taste of Ovaltine on bananas.