I made supper tonight.
That’s not really surprising. With this many kids you have to make meals whether you feel like it or not. I have been getting a bit spoiled in PA when it comes to making meals, but I have made a meal or two since Dan died and since Caleb was born.
What was different was the fact that I made a real meal. I made steak, baked potatoes and broccoli. Yummy. I did think when I pulled the steaks out of the freezer “How many do I need? Dan won’t be eating any.” That should have been a sign right there. The meals I’ve been making have been things like Mac and Cheese, Hot dogs, Chicken Tenders . . stuff that I fed to the kids all the time in WV for lunches.
My day went fairly smoothly. The boys were still working on school work at supper time, but that was their problem. I had accomplished quite a few things that I wanted to and was feeling calm and in control. I got my clothes unpacked, worked on Abigail’s quilt a bit, Caleb wasn’t being too demanding, Payden was dressed, I gave the four youngest (Caleb excluded) haircuts and baths, the house wasn’t exceedingly messy . . things were going well.
Then I started supper. I looked at those steaks and thought, “I don’t make meals like this for the kids. I make meals like this for Dan. What happens if I burn those steaks? Who will eat them? What if I make too much food? Who will eat the leftovers? (Dan usually took them in his lunch.)” So then I’m crying while cooking and of course, I get a bit distracted and do manage to burn the steaks a bit. The boys decided that it was time to get their school work scored, Payden was playing with the dirty diapers in the bathroom trash, and the girls were making all kinds of noise and havoc. One blessing was Caleb slept through the whole thing. So, I’m cutting up the meat and crying some more because usually Dan and I split up prep time for a meal like this. He would cut up the meat while I mashed the potatoes and put the condiments on them for the kids or the other way around. More work for me this time. I’m thinking, “Dan would be teasing me about burning the steaks (they weren’t really burnt that bad–the kids did eat them) and setting off the smoke alarm. At least I didn’t do that.” Then I sniff . . . what is that (faint) smell? Probably from the meat. . . Need to get the potatoes, turn that brocoli off, butter, salt . . . and then there it went–the smoke alarm. It must be a sensitive smoke alarm because I didn’t see anything to fuss about. The boys made some comment about me setting off the “beeper” and I smiled while crying all the harder. Dan would have said the same thing. Sometimes having them act like their dad is not quite the blessing it’s made out to be.
Anyway, supper got made and it actually all got eaten except for the bottom part of the broccoli that got burnt to the pan. (Burning broccoli is a terrible waste and should be considered a crime! There’s never enough of that stuff to go around in our house as it is.) I don’t think I will be making another meal like that any time soon, though. It’s a simple meal to make, I think, but without Dan what’s the point? The kids are fine with peanut butter and jelly. Maybe when they get a bit older and are able to appreciate it more . .
I don’t know . . this making supper stuff is really difficult for me. Supper was the meal that was for Dan. I didn’t really care what the kids wanted, what they liked, or anything like that. I made something for Dan (and sometimes me) and the rest of them either ate it or went hungry. Who do I make it for now? Do I just pick a kid? One each night maybe?
Making supper? Why is it that the silliest things just throw me off? And why am I so sensitive? I can be fine one moment, not even aware of any kind of turmoil, and the next thing I know I’m practically bawling my eyes out for no apparent reason. I am not an emotional person. I am even-keeled. I don’t have highs and lows, much less highs and lows in the same five minutes. Will I ever get my sanity back?
Thankfully, You are my rock, my fortress, my stability, Lord. My emotions might be fluxuating like the tides, but You never change. How in the world, do people do this without you? You make it “easy”.
Thank you for the distraction, Lord.