When Bob was dying, we watched a lot of superhero movies. As his mind was slipping, he would constantly ask when I had time to go be Black Widow in the Marvel movies when I had three kids to take care of. Bless his heart.
We also watched Westerns. And I found myself feeling so inferior to those pioneer women. I can’t even get dinner done most days. And they were feeding scores of cowboys. All while wearing perfectly pressed dresses and anachronistic red lipstick. Ringing those dinner triangles like bosses.
I have fallen into this bad habit of feeding the kids a late snack and letting Dave handle dinner when he gets home. He’s better in the kitchen than I am. And I have been so very tired lately. Ridiculously tired.
He worked from home awhile back, and teased about me taking over dinner duty. Even though he wasn’t being serious, I wondered if he was tired of always being the evening chef.
So, last week, I tried to take some initiative with our family meals. His look when he walked in the door spoke volumes.
Dave doesn’t like making dinner every night. We are not chefs. We don’t spend our free time pinning recipes on Pinterest. Or combing through cooking magazines for something new. We’re basic food people. Dave’s been making dinner every night in this tough season, because he loves me. Not because he loves food. He is an amazing partner and shows his adoration through service.
But that doesn’t mean he wants to be permanently serving main dishes. So I’ve been trying my hand at expanding my repertoire and actually planning what we will eat. Some of my new recipes have been winners. Some have been unmitigated disasters.
Yesterday was laughable. After it was embarrassing. I turned off the crockpot, instead of turning it to high. I forgot to put yeast in the bread machine. Dave walked in and I had nothing to offer. The house smelled fantastic, but we had nothing to eat. We had already eaten all the leftovers and our freezer was full of raw ingredients…no meals. We headed to Aldi at almost 7 and fed our kids eggs, oatmeal, toast, fruit, and veggies right before bedtime.
I was so discouraged. But when I would’ve normally started calling myself a failure, I changed my language. I am not a failure. I made a few mistakes. It happens. Sleep-deprived moms do that. Everyone does that.
I already have dinner ready for tonight. Not because I need to have it done. Dave would come home and make something if it needed to be done. I did it because I love him and the kids and I want to show myself that even though I’m not a pioneer woman with a shiny dinner triangle and shiny lips, I can make homemade chicken burritos. Take some of the dinner burden off my amazing man.
And I already got a text from Dave. “Cool!” He’s a man of few words and fewer exclamations, so that single word tells me he will be beaming when he’s greeted by his four favorite people and the scent of his favorite refried beans.
But he’s making dinner on Thursday. We have a bunch of tomatoes that need to be turned into marinara and I have Adelaide’s social/emotional/behavioral assessment, her adaptive behavior assessment, and therapy. I plan on donning pajamas by 3pm and having a good cry at least once before falling into bed.
Because I’m no superhero and being a special needs mommy is tough.
Maybe I would feel better if I bought some red lipstick. It worked for Scarlett Johansson and Maureen O’Hara and an entire generation…