I recently heard a story, I thought it was from The Moth but I can’t find it again, about a woman who fondly remembers pic-nice dinners from her childhood. These were the nights when her mom would put out a tray of all sorts of fun little servings of food and they’d eat on TV dinner trays in the living room. I believe that’s how the story went. One day, now as a grown woman, she shared this favorite memory of her’s with her mom. She suddenly looked sad. Her mom admitted those were the nights when she most felt like a failure, when she had no dinner made, it was late so she pulled out every left over and bits of this and that so at least they’d have some food in their belly before bed.
That story made me cry. How odd motherhood is. The moments when we most think we’re failing turn out to be our children’s greatest memories. I’m sure the same is true for the flip side, moments when we put a lot of time and effort into an event or an occassion only to have it not even be a blip on their radar.
Last night I had one of those nights. No dinner prepped. It was late. I didn’t have enough chicken to make a meal, not everyone likes tuna, only one avocado , can’t do pasta AGAIN, no tortillas… I made a picnic and let go but thanks to the woman’s story I decided to not feel like a failure and feel happy with my children.
PS. If you have a pretty tray it’ll make your left overs feel fancy.