But all those years, through the subsequent births of 5 more children, I knew I was missing out on an experience as germane to motherhood as giving birth - that of feeding macaroni and cheese to a horde of grateful children. I pictured the little ones clambering to the table, forks in hand, their dinnertime cries of complaint silenced (for once) by the prospect of a meal that no one could hate. On cold winter days, I fantasized about the stomach-filling, cheesy goodness of this most quintessential of comfort foods. I wept over the fact that my children would not have this particular childhood memory to look back on.
Forbidden fruit does have that effect.
So! Theo was barely out the door this past August before I sat down at the computer and printed out macaroni and cheese recipes from the Internet. There were a few false starts, but I can safely say that at this point I have perfected my gooey-cheese-over-pasta technique. I religiously inflict it on my offspring every single Friday, rejoicing that there is one day of the week that I don't have to think about what's for dinner. A healthy, kid-friendly meal that's easy to cook and easy to clean up - what more could a mom ask for?
Well, for starters, she could ask for normal children. Normal, as in children who know a good thing when they see it. Children, say, who can appreciate the simple things in life. Because (wouldn't you know?) Brian and Susie complain every single time...
Yes, 2 of my children regard this particular all-American favorite as child abuse, pure and simple. They protest when they see it on the menu. They cry as I get the ingredients out of the fridge. At the table, the sight of the inoffensive elbow macaroni cloaked in an unassuming yet fragrant cheese sauce makes them wail.
Yet I persevere. I waited 17 years to become a real mom and make macaroni and cheese for my kids. 17 years, people! It's hard to let go of this particular fantasy.
Where does a dream go when it dies?
Friday got lost in the shuffle there - that happens when half the family is sick with a mysterious virus and Mom goes to bed at 7:30. I sure hope Larry remembered to pick up Anna from her drama night at school. Maybe I should check her room...
Typing all this is exhausting. I'm going back to bed.