I was making a coffee cake with strawberries and peaches yesterday afternoon. I must have scrunched my face while creaming the butter, egg and vanilla together, smushing chunks of brown sugar with the back of my spoon reflected in my face.
Ellie: Mommy, why don’t you ever have any fun?
Me laughing: What do you mean? I’m having fun right now. (Desperately grabbing strawberries, dangling them under my ears making the illusion I had tasty, fruit earrings). So weak.
Ellie: You never have any fun. You’re always making us stuff or driving us somewhere or doing dishes or writing.
Dear Ellie, I love being a Mom to you three girls. I enjoy every second of my time with you even if I don’t always smile while creaming ingredients of a coffee cake together. Sometimes I like to hang back and watch you three dance in the family room while I prepare dinner. I’m still in the room, still part of the action but I can happily watch you begin to sort through issues, whisper things you only think you’re getting away with, play cards with each other and say things like, “Take that! You just got dunked!” or, “You’re about to get flushed” to your opponent while you fight back the giggles.
- It may seem as though I’m always making stuff for you. The reality is, meals are something that take up a considerable amount of my time but it also means I get to be in charge of the good food you are eating so for that reason, I am having fun while I’m “making you stuff.”
- Driving you guys around brings me great joy. When I drop you at a friend’s house, it gives me a chance to miss you or one of your sisters or when all of the stars are in alignment—all three of you. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces at the end of a play date and hearing all about first the treats you ate and second the fun games you played. I love driving you to swimming lessons where I can come and cheer you on, to art class where I can await another masterpiece, to a day like the one we just had at African Lion Safari where I had all three of you driving in the front seat with me as we anxiously awaited (unsuccessfully) a pink-bottomed baboon to jump on the van.
- I do clean a lot of dishes. I guess I’m comfortable in the kitchen and hope that one day, you guys will join me and make this chore go by a lot faster.
- Writing—writing is something that I get to do when I’m all alone. It’s these few minutes each night, sometimes if only for the amount of time it takes for me to realize my hands are too chapped from all the dishes I’ve washed, the meals I’ve prepped or the horn I’ve been honking all day I can only type a few words. If I didn’t think writing was fun I wouldn’t do it. If I didn’t take the time to write, I would eat my body weight in chocolate almonds.
Now that would be fun.