Monday, June 14, 2010

Food For Thought...Hamburger Helper

Tonight I am sitting here writing this while ground beef cooks on the stove that will eventually be Hamburger Helper. Gourmet? No. But when your 18 year old son is hungry at 9:54 p.m. you do what you can. I'm sure that even Alice from The Brady Bunch closed the kitchen at some point in time. Funny thing...I don't really remember that family eating...even though she was always in the kitchen.

He ate at 7:30 when he came in, had a snack at 9:00, and he is back for more. Earlier, when he asked me to warm up some chicken wings for him I asked him what I thought was a very profound question..."Do I look like your maid?"

He looked me directly in the eyes and said, "No, you look like my mother." Well, alrighty then.

A long time ago...far longer ago than I like to think about...I actually had something remotely resembling an interesting life. That was back when I thought I was Miss Independent because I was taking care of some of my business and earning a little bit of money working. The truth was...I had a meal ticket or someone else was cooking dinner (and/or handing it to me through the drive-thru window), my biggest concern was my own laundry, and otherwise, I was pretty much free to do whatever it was that I wanted to do.

It never occurred to me that the reason I had the freedom to be so all about me at that point in time was because other people were investing pieces of their lives in me. And now? Well, we all know what they say about payback.

I am proud of the many hats I wear and I normally gladly shoulder the burdens associated with each. Some weeks I find it fun to keep my house neat and other weeks I want to give up the grocery budget and call Merry Maids.

But most of the time I love the fact that I have a son who wants me to cook for him. He's been a blessing to me for 18 years...even though there are some days when he leads me to believe that I've flunked Motherhood 101. If there were seminars in "Feeding the Bottomless Pit"..."XBox Addicts"...and "Cleaning the Heinous Bathroom"...I really should have paid closer attention.

Every one of us is able to be who we are because of the grace of God and because somebody...somewhere along the line...invested in us. It may have been family, teachers, neighbors, or church friends...but that collection of people made you who you are today.

For better or worse.

I hope that in ten minutes my son will enjoy his oh-so-nutritious Hamburger Helper. He can pretty much eat what he wants because he is not only male...he has a metabolism that I can only dream about. Actually, if I had any metabolism at all...I'd be golden.

Tomorrow morning, I will pick the bowl he eats out of tonight out of his room...even though I've told him a gazillion times that it is supposed to be put in the dishwasher when he finishes. As if. Sometimes he surprises me by getting it as far as the bar by the sink. If past history is indicative of future behavior, I'll probably come home tomorrow afternoon to find the empty bowl from the leftovers in the sink...or in his room.

Maybe one day...twenty years from son will have the realization that his Mom loved him very much because I said "no" when I needed to but said "yes" to things like making him Hamburger Helper at a ridiculous hour. I hope so, anyway.

But I'm going to just stop and enjoy the fact that he is still under my roof and still wants his Mom to fix him something to eat. Granted, it is likely that he is just the epitome of laziness. Or maybe he knows that he has one more year to be the baby of the family before we expect him to man up and make his grades in college.

Oh well, gotta go...I have a hungry boy to feed. I am blessed.

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