posted by Mel
Saturday morning I woke up before Vanessa and Eric, proceeded to the kitchen, washed the dishes that were still sitting in the sink from the day before, opened up a new cookbook (AWESOME- btw) that I have an advance copy of from work and made Chicken Pizziola. We had it for lunch, and it went over pretty well. So Sunday morning I got up and did it all over again—only this time I had something in mind, googled a couple of recipes, and cobbled something together—a ground pork/baked apple casserole using biscuit mix for a crust. Vanessa wanted to go out for breakfast, so I ended up throwing it all back in the fridge to make for that night. Around 5 PM I got it out, let it come up to room temperature and then threw it in the oven for an hour. Vanessa took one bite and said, “I don’t think I can eat this.” The biscuit mix was still a soggy dough from the chicken stock I’d used to bind the pork and breadcrumbs together. I put it back in the oven, but it never came together. She was right. It was inedible. But I was angry– not at her but at me. A super mom doesn’t fail like this. Everything she touches is magic. Super mom is what I’ve been trying to be.
A super mom gets the laundry done. A super mom gets a tasty semi-nutritious supper on the table at night and makes sure everyone’s eating breakfast. A super mom keeps a neat, orderly home— a home that makes you feel like you’re on vacation from the cares of the outside world the moment you step in the door.
But I’m not super mom. I’m messy and disorganized. The house is a wreck—full of unrecycled recyclables, dirty dishes, and odds and ends from Peggy’s house that all reside for at least a little while in our living room until we figure out where they will go long-term. Vanessa and I both have to work. Eric is 19, not a toddler, and he’s not our son, even if he still needs some parenting. Hot home-cooked meals will provide him some comfort and sustenance, but they won’t change his life or ours. They won’t change the fact that Peggy died or make us the perfect insta-family. I just haven’t quite figured out what my role is yet, how best to care for Vanessa and Eric while they mourn and how to think about our new situation. It doesn’t fit into any of my known models for family. It’s not that I’m not grateful for it– just that it’s all new. Right now it would be a whole lot easier if there was some kind of a script to follow until we’re all back on our feet.