Friday, October 25, 2013

Grilled Cheese and Wisdom

Dad About The Town: Please do not read this. If you do, it will negatively alter our future.

This morning I can’t help but be a little proud of myself. I realized, at the age of 43, I am finally growing up…some. My wisdom is starting to blossom, FINALLY! And it’s all thanks to a grilled cheese sandwich.

Yes. A grilled cheese sandwich.

You see, last night, after work, Dad was headed off to meet with a friend for pizza and guitars. I had the job of staying home with two hungry, loud, cute, kids.

So, there we were, smack dab in the evening routine. Sarah was off to get in a little play time with her bestie next door, Elijah was digging through his toy boxes for Mater,  Dad was switching into his tennis shoes, and I was doing dishes and prepping for dinner. 

After a quick kiss, Dad went out the front door at the same time Sarah came in.

“What’s for dinner?” She says. 

I contemplated tossing cereal in a bowl and calling it good, but thought better of it since that wouldn’t leave enough breakfast for morning be healthy. Then I put the pressure back on my daughter.

“What ingredients do we have that could be made into a meal?”

She wasted not a second before hollering out, “CHEESE AND BREAD! DAD’S GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH!”

That could be a problem. 

You see, Dad left. 

So it would be MOM’S grilled cheese sandwich and to be honest, I like Dad’s better, too.

There is something magical in the way he makes his sandwiches. They are so good that the thought of them will make me salivate and grin ear to ear. And to actually bite into them, well, I moan. They are THAT good. Just being honest.

In fact, this is the one meal that the kids BEG him to make. I love grilled cheese sandwich nights because, 1) THEY ARE TASTY, and 2) because I get the night off. They are DAD’S grilled cheeses, after all. HE has to make them. I am basically pushed to the wayside to go watch television. 

But tonight, I had to sub. Dad was gone, off eating pizza, and now I was gonna have to just bare down and do my own thing. And so I did.

Mamas, let me tell you, I NAILED IT!!!! My grilled cheese sandwich was perfectly browned, perfectly melted, perfectly buttered and it was AWESOME! I knew as soon as I saw the toasted sourdough that everything was going to be okay. 

I plated the kid’s sandwiches, paired them with some lovely red and green grapes, and poured some cold milk into cups that matched their dinnerware.

Proudly I walked to their little table and set the food down. 

I admit, while I was mostly confidant, a small piece of me was a tad nervous because, again, Dads grilled cheese sandwiches really are spectacular.

They both started in with the grapes. The anticipation was mounting. I was nervous. Part of the goodness of a grilled cheese is to get that first bite in while the cheese was still melty warm. Timing is everything. 

And then… it happened. Elijah nibbled and Sarah went in for the full on big bite. I quietly and surreptitiously watched her chew. Her face gave no indication to what she was thinking. 

UGH! The suspense.

Then, she turned her head and her eyes caught mine and said, “MOM! THIS IS AN AMAZING 'DAD GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH'!” 

But the thing is – DAD DIDN’T MAKE IT! I DID!!! I MADE IT!! IT WAS MY GRILLED CHEESE AND IT WAS GOOD! SO GOOD IN FACT, I made myself moan.

None of this is demonstrating wisdom, I know this. So far I am only admitting that I am a competitive nutball and a validation junkie. But hang on. Wisdom is coming.

The night continued on. The kids ate, plates were washed, jammies were on, (s)nuggling was had… and eventually both kids were off to bed.

Dad came home.

When he said, “How was your night?”

I WANTED TO SCREAM OUT MY SUCCESS OF MAKING THE BEST GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES, EVER, but I didn’t.

“Fine.” I said.

I WANTED TO TELL HIM THAT THE BREAD WAS TOASTY AND BUTTERY AND THAT THE CHEESE WAS PERFECTLY MELTY!

“Usual night.” I said.

I WANTED TO SHOUT OUT THAT SARAH LOVED WHAT I MADE AND THAT IT MAY HAVE BEEN JUST AS GOOD, IF NOT BETTER, THAN HIS MAGICAL SANDWICHES.

“We just ate, watched TV, nuggled, that’s all.” I said.

And you see, Mama’s, THAT is wisdom right there. Capital W to the ISDOM! 

Had I jumped the gun and told Dad that I had made some bad-ass grilled cheese sandwiches that night, had I described the way they look and tasted, had I told him that Sarah LOVED them, that they were, dare I say, magical…

I would no longer have that one meal that only Dad could cook. I would no longer be pushed to the wayside to go watch Extra Extra! The History Channel all to myself. And Mama’s, I treasure those nights that he cooks and giggles with the kids. I was not going to let my competitiveness take that away from me.

WISDOM! Right? I made a wise decision? Or maybe it’s selfish, but I am gonna call it wisdom.

Who makes the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches, DAD DOES! He’s the CHAMP!

And that, is fine with me.

Thank you grilled cheese sandwich for showing me that I don’t always have to WIN.




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