“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Chicken

When Joey was in preschool, he brought home this memory book at Christmastime. I'd been so busy, I hadn't even remembered they were making it. It was unfortunate, too, since each child made an entry in the book that was supposed to have been worked on together with their family. It seemed that since I had missed this, the teachers had gone ahead and asked Joey the question themselves: What is a very special thing you do with your family to get ready for Christmas?

Joey's answer, as recorded in the book for all the preschool families, forevermore: "First my mom takes the package out of the fridge. Then she opens the package, breaks apart the dough, and puts it in the oven. And that's how we make Christmas cookies."

I don't think I've had a more embarrassing Mommy moment.

Knowing this should make it no surprise that when I pulled a roasting pan out of my cupboard today, I realized I've never used it in the eight years I've had it. But today, my mother taught me how to roast a chicken, so I needed the pan. Chicken and mashed potatoes is my kids' favorite dinner at my mom's house and she had decided it was time I leave the nest and...cook the bird. That metaphor seems wrong here. Just the same, I'm leaving it.

I'm actually pretty excited about doing this, especially since my kids generally hate my cooking and make it well known. I was so excited, that as I drove Noah home from school today, I told him about it. I said, "Mommy's cooking a chicken!"

He said, "You already made the chickens? Won't they be cold when I get home?"

I realized when he said "chickens," he thought I meant "chicken nuggets.

"No, no," I said, "Mommy's making a whole chicken. Like Grandma Judy."

"The whole thing?" he asked happily. "Even with LEGS?"

"Yes," and I couldn't help smiling at how I'd made his day. Ten points for Super Awesome Stay-at-Home Mom!

"Did you cut it yet?" he asked next.

"Well, no," I said, confused. "Not yet."

"So you left it just FLYING AROUND THE HOUSE?!" he gasped.

What? "It's not alive, Noah--"

"But you didn't cut its head off! How--"

"Honey, I don't have to kill the chicken. It was already dead when I bought it."

"It's DEAD?" he cried. "DEAD?! The poor chicken!"

Okay. So maybe I should have learned to cook sooner.

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