The day after Mothers Day, reflecting on the lovely chaos of my life. The usual suspects, I mean people, in my life gathered at my daughter's for a BBQ. Everyone brought something different so it was quite a feast. Bratwurst, burgers, and marinated steak, chicken thigh kabobs, portobello mushrooms and asparagus seasoned only with sea salt and olive oil, a huge fruit platter, some last minute bok choy with brown rice, red peppers and onions we named Bok Choy Adventure and an enormous salad no one touched because we were full. Beer and margaritas, fuze for the kids, sunshine and a chilly wind, blue sky and several desserts. Glorious day.
Men fell asleep watching sports on TV. Kids of all sizes came in and out, red-faced from fresh air and running. The women, the mothers and grandmothers floated from room to room catching parts of conversations. At one point I heard my daughter say to her smallest son, "Brosse les dents!" She then turned to me and asked why I always told her to brush her teeth in French when she was young. I was really surprised, not remembering that I had done that much less why. My older son said, "Yeah, she always said that to me, too." (I was thinking this was a joke.... until my younger son said, "Me too, and I always took Spanish in school.")
So, I found myself confronted by my three grown children, on Mothers Day, trying to explain something I didn't even remember doing. As if telling them to brush their teeth, in any language, was bad parenting. I couldn't explain why I had done that except for the fact I had learned French at a young age and had ended up with a total of seven years, even though I dropped out of high school.
A highlight of the day was taking a walk with my son-in-law's mother as she accompanied me through the old barn and we broke into an abandoned attic apartment, with a screwdriver (we had permission, but no key) finding an odd assortment of things left behind. A four foot tall Raggedy Ann, naked, with one arm half-off, handmade. A pair of Australian shearling slippers, never worn, my husband's size. A black and white booklet from 1955 for 101 Uses for Craftstrip, which includes 3 pages with 21 illustrations on how to make a lanyard.