“Honey, will you ever be one of those Sunday dinner type of cooks?”
A blank stare came across my face as these words escaped my husband’s mouth. I will admit that I am more of a “Sunday order out, heat up leftovers, and take a nap” type of cook. So I knew exactly what he meant! I just couldn’t believe he actually said it—out loud.
After a moment of silence, I replied, “No babe, I don’t think so.”
We both chuckled and moved on. At least we seemed to. But somewhere in the recesses of my mind, this conversation took its seat right under the spot marked, “How did she do it?”
On occasion, my friends and I sit around and discuss the mystery of mothering the way our mothers and grandmothers did and more often than not, the Sunday dinner makes its way to the top of the list. I have vivid childhood memories of my grandmother performing what I consider to be a miracle every Sunday and several times throughout the week.
How did one woman, wife and mother, in a moment’s notice, manage to prepare a feast in a tiny kitchen with one small stove and one oven? She had no oven warmers, double ovens or eight burner stovetops, but everything seemed to be hot, ready and delicious at the same exact time. I mean, really, how did she do it?
Gourmet meals, polished silverware, folded laundry and shiny floors may always seem like a mystery to me. In all honesty, I sometimes feel like I may never make the cut, as it relates to filling the shoes of the women who I call Mommy, Mama and Two Mama, but I am beyond grateful for the example they set.
With every meal I felt loved. With every clean pair of socks I felt cared for. And the smell of Pine Sol, even now, gives me a sense of peace.
What they did, as mothers, as wives, as homemakers, and in my case, as providers, gives me a bar to reach for and a picture of what true sacrifice looks like. Their “trophies” give me a confidence and an expectation to yearn after.
Maybe you are a gourmet chef and you have obtained that badge, but just like me, I’m sure you have women in your life that you admire for one reason or another. Maybe they have set the bar for you in what it looks like to be a praying mother. Or perhaps they are renowned as the neighborhood mom and that is something you’ve wanted to emulate.
Whatever the pursuit is, keep that picture in the recesses of your mind, so that you can recall it as necessary. As you move throughout your days, use the mysteries as encouragement. Commit to loving and choose to sacrifice for those that are seated around your table. I may never understand the details of how my role models did it, but I can say with confidence that the secret of their service was not in the details of what they did, but in the conscious choice to mother well.