Mama Makes Dinner.

On this Mother's Day, I have struggled with writing an appropriate post.

I have a ton to say about my Mama, and about RJ's Mother (but we won't go there) and about being a Mama, but nothing felt right, until I remembered this story and decided to share it, so here goes.

My Mama was always one of the hardest working people I have ever known.  All of my memories of her, from my earliest until my most recent, have her somehow in motion, doing something, cleaning something, cooking something, wiping something...

I grew up on a farm.  It was by no means a fancy farm, and when I look back on it, I wonder how we actually survived sometimes because we were poor.  Real poor.  Like... dirt poor.  But don't worry, I 'm not going to go all Laura Ingalls up in here, I just want to tell this story about the time Mama made dinner.

So anyway, here's how I remember it.

I was maybe eight or nine at the time.  Probably.  At least in that range.

We ( and I use that term VERY loosely) had spent the day working in tobacco.  I can't really remember what season we were in - setting, chopping, topping, cutting, housing, stripping, whatever, but I remember it was after dark when we got home.

See, here's how it always worked.  Mama would go out and do whatever the menfolk were doing, and do it just as well, then when we got home for the evening, Mama would begin her second job as housekeeper, laundress, cook, Mama, and everyone would get to rest because they had all put in such a long day already.

At least that's how I remember it, anyway.

So this one time, we got home, and everyone wandered off to take a bath, rest, relax, and to wait on Mama to make dinner.  Then we'd all get to eat, and Mama would get to clean up.

Hey, I didn't say it was fair, it just... was.

I was walking down the hallway toward the kitchen, and I see Mama open the refrigerator and rummage around.  Our typical dinner fare was beans & cornbread, or chicken, or gravy & biscuits, or pork chops, or something equally delightful, and that's what I expected to see come out.

Instead, I saw a pound of bologna fly, and I do mean FLY, across the kitchen and land on the table, where it slid across and almost off the table top.  At that exact same moment, Mama yelled "Supper's ready!"

For this one day, this one dinner, this one time, she had had ENOUGH.

It was the first and last time I ever saw her cut a corner, or let herself off easy.

I have a lot of those same tendencies, and as a Mama, I'm exceptionally hard on myself.

I feel a lot of guilt when I feel too tired to play, or when I serve chicken nuggets for the fourth time in a week.

And then I remember the bologna flying across the kitchen, and I remember that it's ok to give myself a break.

Once in a while.

Happy Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. Go, Baloney!
    I'm all about cutting yourself a break.

    Happy Mother's Day, MJ!


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