Part of being a total fruit loop like me is that sometimes you get a little crazy. And when I say crazy, I mean you act impulsively. And when I say impulsively, I mean you let your emotions get away from you. And when I say let your emotions get away from you, I mean you do dumb shit you regret sometimes.
My most recent regret came last Thursday after making a huge pot of meat marinara sauce.
For those of you not in the know, my sauce is awesome. I’ve been making it since I was about twelve or thirteen, and after all these years, it’s become a thing of beauty. The kids find out I’m making sauce, and the next thing I know I’ve got a house full of extra kids and no leftovers. It’s legendary. Wandering minstrels write ballads about my sauce.
So here I am, making my signature dish for an annual get-together with my in-laws. After a couple hours of prep work, the sauce was finally put together, simmering away and filling the house with its delicious scent.
My eighteen year old entered the kitchen, his nose leading the way like a cartoon animal floating along tendrils of aroma.
Gleefully, he sampled the sauce. After a taste or two, he said, “It’s missing something. Did you put a cheese rind in it?”
Now for those of you who don’t know, good, imported cheeses often have a hardened crust along the outside. You can’t really eat it, but you can throw it in soup or sauce to add incredible flavor. It’s an amazing trick. Try it sometime and see. (You’re welcome, by the way)
I hung my head in shame. “No,” I answered. “We didn’t have any cheese and I didn’t think of it when I was at the store.”
“Hmm,” he hmm’ed with a shake of his head. “Too bad.”
I went to bed, dismayed at my lack of cheese rind. Even as the luscious scent filled the house and woke me several times during the night, thoughts of rind-less sauce haunted me.
The next morning I tested the sauce again, internally cursing my son for reminding me of our cheese-less state. I determined then and there to go to the store during my lunch hour at work and procure the necessary rind to bring the sauce to a state of perfection.
Visions danced in my head. I would bring it home to the boy, the best prep cook a mom could have, who would add the final touches to my culinary masterpiece.
I drove like the devil to the store, then home, all the while imagining the rapturous expression on my son’s face when I handed him the cheese to add to the sauce.
Instead, I walked in the front door to find my boy, the fruit of my womb, pajama clad and sitting on the couch eating and watching videos.
For the briefest moment, I was speechless. Here I’d been working all day, slaving, rushing around, using my entire lunch hour to get cheese because the boy wanted it, and what was he doing? Sitting on his butt all day eating my food and sucking up my bandwidth!
The Italian in me, as well as the crazy, reacted without thought and hurled the wedge of cheese at him.
“What the hell?” he sputtered as he ducked.
“What the hell indeed!” I screeched back. “I just spent my entire lunch running around to bring you cheese! You have a list of stuff to do, get off your ass and do it!”
We glared at each other for a moment until I realized I had to get back to the office.
“And don’t forget to add that rind to the sauce,” I snarled as I left.
Of course, as soon as the door closed behind me, I felt like a jerk. I mean, who throws cheese at their children?
I worried over it for days until finally I sat down with my therapist and told her about the event. “I’m a terrible mom,” I moaned. “He probably tells everyone I’m an abusive bee-yotch.”
“Maybe,” she mulled for a moment. “Even the best parents give their kids something to talk to a therapist about. It’s not your most stellar mom-moment, but A) it’s not like you threw a can of corn at him, and B) he really was sitting on his butt half the day. Granted, cheese throwing isn’t the best reaction, but if he really felt abused and decided to call the police, what would he tell them? My mom threw a piece of cheese at me?”
Despite my shame, I snickered a little.
“And then what?” she continued. “They would ask why did your mom throw cheese at you, and he would have to tell them it was because he was still in his pajamas after noon. They’d probably tell him to go get a job.”
I snickered again.
“Let it go,” she finished. “Forgive yourself. Cheese bounces. He’ll bounce too. Try not to throw things next time.”
I left feeling a little better about the cheese chucking, and the boy doesn’t appear to be traumatized over it. I guess It’s hard to be a wackadoo without passing a little of the crazy onto your progeny.
I’m not perfect. I never will be. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll always be a little crazy, and there will always be those cheesy moments in my life.
I’ll try to change, and sometimes I’ll do better. Other times I’ll fail. Luckily for me, my family seems to forgive me when I throw things, just as I forgive them for lazing about in their pajamas for half the day.
That’s what family is all about. They see your crazy and love you anyway.