Friday, March 1, 2013

12 Days of Mom-Day One

*March 12th will mark the one year anniversary of my Mom's death. In an effort to avoid my usual "milestone approaching" behavior of hiding in bed and eating lots of carbs, I'm celebrating the 12 Days of Mom.  As a part of my celebration, I will be writing one of my favorite memories about Mom here each day. These are random tidbits of all the awesome that was my Mom. I'll think you'll like reading more about her. If you're new to reading my blog, proceed with caution. You will find lots of casual writing fraught with grammatical errors. I serve as editor-in-chief around here, which would make any of my high school English teachers shudder.

A few weeks ago I was out to dinner with a bunch of my friends. I decided to order some roasted brussels sprouts. (I had NO idea there is an "s" at the end of brussel. Who knew?) Brussels sprouts seem to be sort of trendy just now and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. People at my table were STUNNED that I had never eaten a brussels sprout. This, of course, spawned a discussion of all the foods typically considered disgusting by all major television characters of the late '70s, early '80s. A discussion of liver and onions almost always comes on the heels of a brussels sprouts discussion.

Until three weeks ago, I had never eaten a brussels sprout. And never have I even been near a plate of liver and onions. This is because my mom never made us eat anything gross. You may not believe me when I tell you that.  You may think I'm looking back with rose colored glasses.  But I'm totally not.

Apparently, Mom spent a lot of time post-meal at her childhood dinner table trying to choke down her meal. She was determined not to do the same thing to her own kids. Don't get me wrong-it wasn't an all out junk food free-for-all (at least as far as she knew!), but she pretty much focused in on the meals we liked and stuck with those. Over and over and over. Now that I'm a mom, I can only imagine how monotonous that must have been. Oh wait. I  don't have to imagine...

My Mom made no secret of the fact that she did not enjoy cooking.  I have a theory that she *might* have enjoyed it once upon a time, but it got beat out of her due to cooking 10,000 meals of spaghetti. Or shepherd's pie. Or chicken alfredo.  Those were some of the definite stand-bys. In fact, just typing those words make me so nostalgic. I'm tempted to go to the kitchen and whip up all of my "Mom" meals.

She was appalled at many of the things I put in front of my kids! She openly discouraged all of her grandchildren from eating peas. She was known to whisper in their ear at the table! She seriously questioned my parenting abilities when I gave my toddlers avocado.

I don't think my Mom had any idea about "taste bud science"-about how our taste buds change many times over the years, and how, as children they are not "tuned" to enjoy certain foods.  I do think she wanted dinner time to be fun...because she wanted everything to be fun. And while "I hate that yucky stuff" was an oft repeated refrain at our table, there wasn't much yucky stuff to be found. She definitely did something right. All of us, as adults, are pretty adventurous eaters. And while the brussels sprouts I had at dinner were delicious, I don't have a void in my childhood where the brussels sprouts should have been.

As silly as it sounds, my Mom made us feel loved when she fixed the things we liked to eat. Her love for us permeated everything she did. And that is not a sappy exaggeration. I'm so blessed to say that I never doubted my Mom's love for me. Not even for a second.

How could you doubt the love of a mother who kept you far away from liver and onions??


Robert Finley said...

I used to trade my dessert to my sister for her mint vinaigrette-marinated grilled liver, but the onions? Never part of the mix.

Your mom was one of the most excellent people ever. Maybe that was in her DNA. Maybe 'twas Christ in her. Maybe, and this is what I prefer, it was all of the above. In any case, you inherit, you know?

Godspeed, Kelly. And much, much love from some old friends.


Eva Pierce said...

Kelly -

I have never before cried while reading a story about liver and brussels sprouts!

How I miss my Kathy...

Much love,