Saturday morning I got up and started my coffee. While the coffee was brewing, I put a roast in the crock pot. My oldest daughter missed me and came over for a visit, and we decided to spend a few hours driving around to look at some houses she's interested in buying. When we got back, the house smelled amazing and we were both anxious for the roast to finish cooking.
We were also tired, so we both took a short nap. I got her a blanket and she laid down and took a nap ... with no pouting, no tantrum, no tears! I wish it had been that easy twenty years ago!
After our nap, she kept asking me when the roast would be ready. It was actually ready for a while before I let anyone eat it ... I was waiting for my boyfriend to arrive. When it came time to eat, my oldest daughter was the first one to dive in, then my middle daughter and three of her friends descended on the kitchen and pretty much picked the platter clean.
Every time I make a roast I remember a roast I made when the kids were about six, eight, and ten years old. I was so sick of eating the foods the kids liked ... I wanted real food! People food! Grown-up food! I made a roast with carrots and potatoes, and crescent rolls. I was salivating as I set the table. My oldest daughter came into the room (undoubtedly brought there by the delicious aroma!). I guess she expected hamburger helper or sloppy joes or pizza or hot dogs and macaroni. When she saw real meat and real vegetables still in their vegetable form, she burst into tears and cried "Why are you doing this to us?"
When my kids were little, everyone always told me "Treasure this time ... before you know it, they'll be all grown up" ... but that wasn't true at all! When the kids were little, time seemed to stand still! They were little for what felt like decades! But once my oldest hit middle school, time did fly ... and now they're all adults ... who appreciate naps and voluntarily take them without me nagging ... and they eat people food!
I loved my kids when they were babies. I loved rocking them to sleep and watching them grow and learn to walk and talk. I loved them when they were toddlers and preschoolers, when they'd wake up and run to my room to give me a good morning kiss and hug. I loved them when they got older and we could all go bike riding and swimming and hiking, and really do things together. But I think I love them most as adults. I love that they ask my opinion and look to me for advice. I love that they want to spend time with me. I love that they are finally able to understand how much work it is to raise children by yourself, and they appreciate all I did for them. I love that we are friends and that they choose to spend time with me. But the thing I love the most is that they all still call me "Mama".