I could feel the anxiety rising in my throat as I scrambled to adjust the plan. It was 5:25 and the kids were gathering for dinner at 6:00. This new practice of family dinner still feels fragile but vital to my soul. The past two days had swirled out of control and the kids were headed to the house and there was nothing to eat.
It started with a plan to make a family favorite, homemade mac and cheese. It is a rare occasion to make it, and I planned to throw it together the night before so we could just heat it up when I got home. A series of unfortunate events, including a tree down across the street made getting home the night before impossible. Instead of preparing a meal, we found ourselves banished from our home. Thankfully some friends took pity on us and let us hang out at their place, but when we made it down the driveway it was already past our bedtime.
The next morning I texted our oldest (who’s a great cook) to see if she could make it home in time to throw dinner in the oven. Yes, she would take it on. My day unravelled, as days at work do. Several hours later, I walked out of the building hoping that dinner was all set. I sent a quick text and headed for my car. She replied she wasn’t even home yet. Well, there went plan B.
I called the next in line,
Me: what are you doing? Can you start dinner?
Brian: Well… I don’t know.
Me: I’m kind of freaking out here.
Brian: Why are you freaking out?
Me: Because everyone is coming and I don’t have a plan for dinner.
Brian: Seriously, mom, Nobody cares.
I took a deep breath. These are my kids. They’ve eaten cereal for dinner. A lot. He’s right. They don’t care. I don’t need to try and impress them, they know me best… and love me still.
Me: Call in some pizza and I’ll pick it up on the way.
Brain: Okay. Love you.
Me: Love you too.
Thirty minutes later, I pulled down the driveway with three large pizzas and a grinder for their dad. They were home. They didn’t care what was for dinner. We laughed, we teased, we schemed, and we rough housed. When Keith walked in and an hour later there was water all over the floor from an unfortunate event with the “bad kitty” spray bottle. It’s just how we roll.