everyone has a comfort food- the meal that, time and time again, you keep running back to. the dinner or dessert that makes everything feel better and brings a smile to your face. that special food that makes even the worse day go away. i live in the south, which is the birthplace of comfort food. mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, barbecue, cakes and cookies. we all have our go-to recipe or restaurant or secret stash of something in the fridge. my comfort food is a BLT.
i remember growing up and watching my mom make herself mammoth BLTs. it was her comfort food, and she was very particular about it. the bread had to be toasted, it needed the right amount of mayo, the perfect dash of salt and pepper. and it always had to have cheese. american cheese. she broke the bacon up in smaller pieces and put it on top of the cheese so that it would melt a little. the salt and pepper had to stick on the mayo. fresh lettuce and thick sliced tomatoes. i would watch her make and eat this sandwich over and over and over for years and i could see her troubles melt away. she took such delight in such a simple thing. i’d like to think that’s why when i got older and started to feel the problems of the world, i turned to the BLT (though, now a vegetarian version). i made one tonight, and found myself taking the same careful steps my mom took to make it just right. and once i took that first bite, the bad in the world disappeared, if only for a moment. 🙂
there are very few times during the day that are just for me. having a six month old baby is a type of chaos that’s really hard to explain. it’s an endless cycle of feeding, changing diapers and entertaining. and believe it or not, it’s hard to keep a kid entertained. despite all the funny faces and character voices, my baby still looks at me sometimes with a blank stare of boredom. but now he’s visiting at my dad’s, and i have our place all to myself. i feel like the whole world is mine! i can do anything i want with this “me time”…..so of course, i log onto the internet. no wonder my kid looks at me like i’m the dullest mom on earth. 😛
lately i’ve noticed that all of this momming has made me incredibly tired. i’m getting enough sleep, but during the day i feel completely drained. i tried adding a cup or two of coffee to my morning ritual, but that didn’t seem to be cutting it. enter red bull. normally i don’t drink energy drinks. i fear they are full of chemicals that could take the tar off of a roof. but desperate times call for desperate measures, and last night i bought a 4-pack of sugar free red bull. i woke up this morning with great anticipation of chugging the neon colored sour juice and having more energy and strength than i knew what to do with. i was depending on the shiny silver can to make me yawn-free. i’m on my second can today and i feel….blah. i had dreams of cleaning the apartment and doing laundry and putting away baby toys, but alas, red bull has let me down. i guess this mess will have to wait another day. it seems easier just to take a nap than to drink another can of that grossly flavored caffeinated beverage.
today is my mother’s birthday. or would have been. i’m not sure how to word it. my mom passed away last year, 3 days shy of her 57th birthday. she died suddenly of an illness that, despite the best of medical technology, wasn’t able to be diagnosed. i was 13 weeks pregnant when she passed, and i never really processed her death. i just focused on the future of my baby. now that my child is here and doing well, i think and dream about my mom a lot. i miss her terribly. she was a funny lady with a kind and generous heart. she gave her time and love to inner city schools, homeless and children who weren’t accepted by their own families. she took in run aways and foster children. she started a reading program at an inner city elementary school. she ministered to the people on the streets that most other people avoided. she was fearless. even though she is no longer with us, she has left such an amazing memory and legacy. those are some big shoes to fill. today, on her 58th birthday, she truly is missed. thankfully, i have a lot of great stories about her to tell my child.
you may think you know the person writing this.
you may think we have a lot in common. we may shop at the same grocery store and buy the same things. you may linger too long in the potato chip aisle and buy six different kinds of cheese, never using a single one. we may visit the same websites and watch the same movies and laugh at the exact same parts. we may even look a little alike. but what i’m starting to learn is that no one can really know me, and no one can really be me….but me.
at different times i’ve been a mentor, a film maker, a writer, a jokester, and a million other people at a million other times. right now….i guess i’m just trying to figure out who i am….now….in this moment.
i am sure of this: i am the mother of a precious baby boy, the girlfriend of a wonderful artist and the daughter of an eccentric man.
but who else am i?
you may think you know…..but you have no idea.
the ride is just getting good.
baby finn says, “happy new year!”