Being Mama, Family

Dancing In The Kitchen

My girls and I were preparing for the annual dessert auction today. As we moved around the kitchen it was like we were synchronized in some sort of baking routine. It’s funny because yesterday my husband was trying to cook and was so frustrated because there was a chair in his cooking space. He hollered and he yelled. He may have thrown a few things. I pointed out that maybe he was having a bit of an attitude and that most certainly didn’t make matters any better. My son, the mechanic, tends to stay out of the kitchen unless he’s very very determined to make something of his own creation such as his famous (at least in our house) pleasant pheasant dish. Otherwise you can count on him to be about as helpful as a pimple on prom night in the kitchen.

As my two girls and I walked past one another dumping cups of sugar and stirring in handfuls of salt and baking soda it made me think of that saying “kitchens are made for dancing”. Although we weren’t actually dancing it seemed as if we were. I was in complete home maker happiness at that moment. We scooped and stirred and mixed and waltzed around one another reaching here and leaning there and moving aside so the other could get to the cupboard or stove. It was all so timely and without a mishap I thought perhaps maybe I was dreaming a little. Then I realized It was just a bit of déjà vu. This what happens when my mom, my sister and I are in the kitchen together. It’s a perfect seamless dance as we maneuver raw ingredients into a delicious meal. That made me a bit homesick I’m afraid.

Home to me really isn’t a place anymore. It’s more the people that belong to the deepest part of my life. I miss the nearness of my loved ones. I miss seeing their faces on a regular basis. I miss my best friend who no longer lives 15 minutes away. But I have to be thankful for each and every blessing that I do have. And what I have is a beautiful family and a church full of wonderful people that I call friends that I can call on anytime I am in need. Looking forward I also have many wonderful people that I’m sure will become dear friends to me in the future.

I chose to live where I do because that is where God planted me. I have no regrets and I’m in love with what God is doing in my life. But the truth is I hunger sometimes for the nearness of my family. And though they are not far away it is still a sacrifice.

But as always when I face these moments I think about my simple phrase that always carries me through another day and that is “today I choose joy”. I will enjoy this snap shot and treasure it always as a beautiful moment in time. A time when my girls and the girl I was danced together in perfect harmony.

Being Mama, Family, Kids, Life, Love, Marriage

Where Have All The Housewives Gone

We just had our yearly chat with the gal who does our taxes. I have been contemplating working a few hours in the summer. Something very part time. I asked if upping our income a bit was going to help or hurt us in the long run. Funny thing is if I make over $10,000 annual ( which I probably won’t) we up our tax bracket and lose some of the return we are now getting. Essentially, it’s a wash.

My kids are teens now and looking for work of their own. I love this age and yet I yearn to just be out of the house. They don’t need me as much now anyway. I love home but I’m not thrilled with staying there all day, ya get me? And yet, I hear my mother’s voice saying how she wished she had not gone to work when my baby brother entered his teens. He had a very troubled adolescence and she still feels a bit guilty.

And if I’m being honest, there are days when I’m not really up to the task. I’m working on myself this year to improve that. After chronic pain had become intolerable and migraines ate up the hours in my days I stepped back and made few changes in order to better myself physically.

I’m sure this all sounds like I am justifying my choice to remain out of the work place ( at least for now). I guess it is but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a calling. I’m made to nurture and to love. I don’t understand how being a housewife has gotten such a bad rap. No, we are no longer living in the 1950s but there is truly something satisfying about providing the best for your family.

On any given day I am a driver, a cook, a teacher and tutor, a cleaner (NOT maid), a mentor, a help meet, a friend and lover, an encourager, an organizer, a planner and appointment maker, an economizer and financial assistant, a dreamer and reader, a prayer warrior and a keeper of the home. It’s a big job.

I was purging paper work recently and found stacks of report cards and college applications. Among these were several letters of reference from various mentors and teachers. I read them and was amazed at their kind words. They were chock full of sincere praise and promise. How did I not realize I was a golden girl? I was one of the few that would “amount to something”. I was just now seeing what my teachers must have seen in me then. A bright future. A world changer. Someone destined for more.

Did I squander my life? In the world’s eyes, maybe. But as I sit here writing this my 10 year old is bringing me her school poster to inspect, my 16 year old is explaining his newest dilemma with his vintage motorcycle and I am nagging my 13 year old to feed the goats. I know this may sound like your definition of crazy but this is my little slice of heaven and I wouldn’t trade a second. I’m here for my family and that’s right where I want to be.

I may be in the minority on this one but that’s ok. I’m proud to be a mother and housewife. And, if you ever need a cup of coffee or a hot meal there’s a good chance you will find me in my kitchen and I will gladly bring you in and make you feel right at home.