Don’t Blink

Something surprising happened while I busy with class the last few weeks.

Nate grew up and got a job.

I guess it’s not surprising that our kids grow up – but there are times when you are struck with how quickly it happened.

He had heard about a job possibility at  a sawmill in the area, so he worked overtime to finish up his school work so he would be ready, just in case. And he did it! He finished his senior year, except for a little bit of reading and a few Latin lessons that he is doing at night.

He literally woke up on Monday morning a home school student, got a phone call at noon, and woke up Tuesday morning as a full time employee.

Up and out the door by 6:30 in the morning, with a lunch and snacks he packed himself.

And an even more shocking development – he even does his own laundry because he ran out of work clothes.

He does come home every evening starving and is quite happy to enjoy a meal that I made. So I guess he still needs me, at least for a little longer.

And just like that, after 26 years of having kids in the house, I am home alone all day.

It’s true what they say of mothering – that the days may be long, but the years are short.

They grow up overnight when you aren’t looking.

Don’t blink.

Momma Bear

It was another round of dental pain for my Dagmar today with a trip to the oral surgeon to have all four wisdom teeth surgically removed.

You would think that after all she went through last winter getting her dental implants that this would be a breeze. After all – can it get any worse than having someone screw titanium screws into your jaw bone?


Jan drove her the 2 hours to her appointment, sat with her before surgery and during recovery.  He even drove her straight home with no side trips to Menards!

As soon as they got home – “Momma Bear” took over. My poor baby with the swollen cheeks and pain filled eyes.

With her chipmunk cheeks stuffed with gauze, she communicated with grunts and hand signs.

When she handed me three potatoes I deduced that she wanted then mashed. Momma Bears just know those things. So I peeled them, cooked them, and mashed them – extra creamy with lots of butter.

Later, as her pain meds kicked in, she got more talkative.

“Mom could I have some water?”

“These pills are really wonderful!”

“Mom, tapioca pudding sounds so good right now!”

What? I didn’t see that one coming! I have never made tapioca pudding in my life! I’ve never even served it on my table. I’m not sure where or when she has even tasted it!

Hmmm….maybe it’s the oxycodone speaking.

But if my baby bear wants tapioca pudding, she’s gonna get tapioca pudding.  Good thing there was some tapioca pearls in the cupboard left-over from some pie-baking adventure.

One recipe search on Google and an hour and half later, tapioca pudding is cooling in the fridge.

“Oh Mom, this is so good!”

Score one for Momma Bear!

“Mom, I am so hungry for grits.”

Um, grits?

“Really creamy with lots of butter and maple syrup”

I’ve never made grits before in my life. I don’t even like grits.

I think I see a pattern here.

Momma Bear is going to get a work out.

I think I’m going to go count the pain meds.

And remove the bloody wisdom teeth from the kitchen table.

This could be a long evening.


The Art of Subterfuge in Mothering

This morning as I whipped up some apple, pear, banana fruit smoothies for my children and watched them guzzle them down, I got to thinking.

Now I realize that thinking that early in the morning can often be dangerous, as my brain is not fully activated yet. But my idea seemed like such a good one- are you ready? I could hide other fruits and vegetables in their smoothies!

It was brilliant!

Just think about the vegetables that could be blended right in!  Even my pickiest eater wouldn’t be able to pick them back out again!

Think about the nutrients my kids would unknowingly consume! Frozen peas, carrots, green beans, celery… no, wait…those are too normal. What about broccoli or kohlrabi or Brussels sprouts?  I know- tomatoes!

Some mothers seem to get away with it on a regular basis.

My sister-in-law Julie cooks up a vegetable medley that she hides in almost everything. Her meatballs are so packed with vitamins they should have a warning label. “Beware: These meatballs are extremely healthy and will make you as strong as Popeye.”

My friend Cinnamon concocts a smoothie for her children that includes spinach! Yes, spinach. And they drink it?! As if any of my kids would voluntarily drink something green.

Ahh yes- that brings us to the heart of the matter. When tricking kids into eating something healthy it must be well-hidden.

How could I possibly disguise the color and smell of say, spinach. It tends to be quite green no matter what you do with it.

Believe me I know. My Mom was always trying to hide things from us. Didn’t always work though. Her most famous cooking story remains “The Legend of the Green Fish Loaf.”

She had discovered a recipe for a fish loaf using canned salmon and spinach. She decided that she would just throw the spinach in the blender with the other ingredients and hide it. We would never know it was there!

She learned that spinach cannot be disguised. It turned the entire salmon loaf green.

We rushed to the table in anticipation of supper and there IT sat.  All green and bubbly with cheese on top. I wish we would have taken pictures of our faces as we sat around the table looking at IT.

IT went over like the proverbial lead balloon. Poor Mom has never been able to forget it. (Being the good children that we are, we keep reminding her.)

No, I realize now that such thinking is quite dangerous. There is an art to subterfuge as a mother, and I definitely have a lot to learn about it!

Hey, I still have a kid who can pick out ground up onions in a meatball.  Maybe I should send him to Aunt Julie’s for awhile….