Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hold The Mayo, Have The Moment

All I can say is, “What a day!”

Actually, “What a week!” is more like it.

I went back to school.  College…at my age!  I’m too old to be a co-ed but I’m giving it…excuse the pun…the old college try!

Thus, the house has been neglected for the week as well as just about everything else in my life.  Today was a rare day off from my job and what better way to spend a gorgeous Saturday than with the hubby doing chores around the house.

We accomplished a lot.  It was great.  But it was also really hard work and I was exhausted before I even began.

And in the midst of all that, Sean got hungry.

After a long week of studying and a very long day of cleaning, organizing and cleaning some more, I just couldn’t muster the strength to make Sean a sandwich.

I know.

Bad mommy!

But seriously, it was a sandwich.  Two pieces of bread with two pieces of meat slapped in between them.  Smash together and eat.

No problem.


It was.

My exhaustion and the tasks at hand meant that I could have easily let Sean snack his way through lunch by grazing on granola bars or pretzels or anything else his fingers found in the pantry but I really wanted him to have something of substance.

A sandwich.

“Sean, make yourself a sandwich.”

“I don’t know how.”

My first thought was that he was being an obstinate teenager.  My second thought was, “Oh crap.  He really doesn’t.”

Oh… easy way?  Hard way?  Easy way?  Hard way?  My mind argued with itself.

I could blow it off and let it go or I could be the good mom and talk him through it.

I did the right thing, dropped what I was doing, and headed to the kitchen.

“OK, get the bread out of the refrigerator.”

He opened the freezer and looked in.

“In the refrigerator.”

He peered more intensely into the freezer.

“The one on the bottom.”


He retrieved the bread and I told him to take two slices out.

Then I instructed him to get the meat out of the drawer in the refrigerator.  He chose ham.


Sean took one piece and then another, practically throwing the slices on the bread so as to get them out of his hands quicker.

I knew the feel of the meat bothered him.  Disgusted him actually.

I decided to not say anything…no need to dwell or remind him of the unpleasantness of the moment.

The sandwich, or rather the unfinished sandwich, laid there on the counter.

Sean didn’t do anything.

“Take the other piece of bread and put it on top.”

He did as he was told.

“Now pick it up and eat it.”

Sean grabbed the sandwich.  He looked stressed… pain.   He casually held the sandwich down by his side, our new puppy Lola eagerly awaiting her chance to pounce.

“Sean, pick up your sandwich and take it to the kitchen table.”

He walked over, sat down, and took a few bites.

Then he was gone.


“At the table!”

With a huge sigh, Sean returned.  You would have thought I was torturing the poor kid with the way he looked.

Geez, it’s just a sandwich.

But it’s not.  It never is.

It’s bread that depending upon the day and the brand can be a texture that makes him gag.

And it’s meat or lettuce or anything else that is too slimy, too wet, or too anything for his mind to allow him to touch it, pick it up, chew it, and swallow it.

Let's not even go there with mustard and mayo!

It’s everything.

And today, in the midst of chores and clutter and Life, when I longed to say, “Gosh, I’m tired and in the middle of something, can’t you just make it yourself?” you all know I couldn’t.

It was more than just a sandwich.  It was a teaching moment.  It was a physically uncomfortable challenge my child had to get through.

It was the look on his face.

It was a million things.

And because of that, Life and exhaustion and everything else had to wait.

My kid needed a sandwich…

And I needed to be with my kid.

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