Friday, July 23, 2010

More self-awareness

One thing that seems to disrupt the habit of regular writing for me is house guests.  I've enjoyed having family in my home for the last week or so.  Even if it is the most comfortable and familiar family member, I still feel a little pressure to be "on".  My standards for housekeeping, cooking and parenting go up just a notch because others are looking.  Also, my writing station is right in the middle of our open floor plan.  So, the quiet and solitude required for my brain to begin oozing out  my fingertips onto my keyboard is hard to come by.

For most of the week, my company was two teenage nieces.  This was enjoyable in many ways.  They occupied my children... wait, that's an understatement.  My children were obsessed with their cousins.  Attached at the hip.  The cousins didn't mind this and never complained.  They ate what was put in front of them and never asked to be entertained.  Teens are happy laying on the sofa watching TV.  If any other guests were here, I'd feel obliged to plan fun and interesting things to do throughout the stay.  Not with these guys!  If ever boredom becomes a threat, there are myriad technological options to stave it off.  One bad note, my youngest is now hooked on the itouch, whatever that thing is.

Of particular interest to me is my relationship with the task or art of cooking.  For some reason, maybe being the baby of the family, I have been cast as the kitchen outcast.  For the first part of our marriage, my husband was the cook and everyone knew it.  Oh, the shame!  I vowed to expand my culinary skills upon purchase of this home with a kitchen I like.  I'm learning that a woman must settle in to her kitchen and have things just right.  A woman at the command post in her kitchen is like a captain at the wheel of his ship.  All operations hinge from this critical center.

So, here's what I've noticed recently.  For the younger crowd, I enjoyed cooking and watching them eat.  Serving meals that please is a perk that I've never embraced before, but I must admit it is quite rewarding.  Compliments to the chef make me beam inwardly.

The latter part of the week, some adult family members joined in to the melee here at my house.  (Namely my mother.)  I was paralyzed.  While doing the frantic extra cleaning of an already acceptable house, I realized that I would not be able to cook.  I don't like people watching me cook.  It gets me flustered.  Much less someone trying to help like mothers like to do.  I appreciate the support, don't get me wrong, but for me cooking is not a team sport.  When I'm alone, I'm doing things right.  And if I make a mistake, I can laugh and do my best to correct it.  With a watchful eye of a more experienced cook, I just can't perform.  So, we went out to dinner.  I just wish I got credit with the adults for all the great cooking I did with the kids here.

Well, that's my pithy thought for the day.  It was nice to open the tap again.


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