Friday, July 11, 2014

why food is love is time

yesterday was my mom's birthday, and I volunteered to make dinner, make her whatever she wanted, because she has always done it for all of us, and before her, my grandmother had always done it for all of us. I don't know much farther back about the history before that, but I know that food is love, which is especially relevant on birthdays, and can definitely alter the direction of a new birthday year.

The thing is though, no one cooks for my mom. We've alway baked her box cakes, but she goes out to dinner. Like going out is a reward for not having to cook or clean the dishes or do anything like that-- a task that we all know is terrible and time consuming. But now that I'm a mom, I realize now more than ever how important giving time is, and just how much time my mom gives always.

So I spent the day baking and cooking. 

spent four hours making a cherry pecan layer cake, which was a recipe of my great grandmothers. I even made the frosting from scratch.

The cake was a resounding success. Even my brother loved it; he said the frosting tasted like the pink divinity desserts we ate when we were small. And everyone remembered the last time they ate it; all the memories were bright and felt good on the heart. Some of us ate the cake with the homemade cream cheese ice cream that my mom made the week before. 

I made coffee for dessert too. I felt very 1950s as I scrubbed a million pots and pans while I listened to the conversation in the other room, the kind of conversation that occurs between a successful dinner and a forthcoming dessert.

For dinner, I made blacked grouper, broccoli. squash, zucchini, and brown and wild rice. That was a success as well. Tim had two enormous plates; everyone ate everything, and there were hardly any leftovers at all.

So what I learned is this: I need to give more time, as much time as I can, to the people I love. Giving time is the most important thing we can do for each other because real time, the time that takes attention, it takes listening, really really listening with every part of yourself, time that takes action, intricacy and focus, is the only way we really get to communication.

And communication is the point. We think we talk and know the day, but we fall asleep hazy and half-made and forget it all tomorrow. We take advantage of others' kindness or put upon our family constantly, thinking they will understand. 

And they probably do. The people that love us will bear our weight, so we don't have to, and we forget that.

Or we become righteous and are convinced we bear it all.

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