Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mexican Tip of the Day #1


This one comes from the heart because I've done it on and off for years now. I'm a working wife and mother. I put in my 40 hours like many others, and my mornings are hectic and never quite as I imagine them in my ever-distracted mind. Neither is dinner for that matter. Or weekends. And it's because all too often, I use being tired as an excuse. It worked for a while, and local restaurants were grateful. However, last week, I learned that what I was lacking was not energy. It was motivation. And my husband unwittingly gave me that motivation last week.

For some odd reason, I decided to buy some fresh chicken and put it in the crock pot for the next day. Threw in some carrots and potatoes, salt and pepper and stuck the whole thing in the fridge till the following morning. Brock was surprised when he saw it but only said "Cool." Smart guy. He had reason to be cautiously optimistic as my culinary follow-through has been sketchy at best.

This was so out of character for me that I completely forgot I'd done it till we walked in that night. He'd forgotten too, but we thoroughly enjoyed the hot and hearty meal on that cold, rainy night. To express how appreciative he was, Brock innocently said, "Damn. I feel married!"

Pause here.

That's what he said.

Now, while some of you are cussing right now, getting all indignant in Comadre-ville, I want you to stop for a moment. I was not offended. I was not upset. I did not fly into a rage or become of puddle of tears. I was stilled. And sad. My husband was excited about a hot meal that took me ten minutes to prepare.

I hear you still mouthing. "Girl, doesn't he know you WORK?" "He knows where the kitchen is, doesn't he?" I hear you, but see, I have these mental images in my head - photographs my mind took of him over the years. Sit down. I want to show them to you . . .

Look at this one. This is Brock at our old house on Arnim surprising me with new paint in the restroom in the exact shade I wanted. And here's Brock installing crown molding in our first baby's room, and painting the walls in the most delicate shade of yellow pearl. Oh, look at this one. This is Brock tiling our entry way in the slate I wanted. And here he is assembling my behemoth of a treadmill in hopes of surprising me with it. Here he is pulling up carpet and treating the concrete in both girls' rooms and our bedroom. Oh, here's one of him coughing up a lung because he spent too much time inside while he was painting the floors. Here he is installing all the new ceiling fans in the house, replacing doorknobs, and installing hardware on all our kitchen cabinets. On this day, he's building a shed in our backyard. No kit. From the ground up. On this day, he's changing the faucets in all the restrooms and the kitchen. And here he is, giving me heart attack upon heart attack while he expertly and fearlessly changes all the lights in our restrooms.

I mean, really. How unappreciative have I been over the years to a man who never really needs anyone to motivate him to be a good husband? I feel married everyday. He feels married when I feed him. It's comical how simple life really is and how silly it is to even attempt to make excuses for not trying hard enough. Especially since it's not like the stove and I have not been formally introduced. I can cook. I love to bake. And I even collect cookbooks. I just don't regularly use them.

So, since that day, I've been making a real effort, and I've found that I'm not only not tired, I love being in the kitchen. I mean, I've cooked in the past, but not everyday. And now I'm trying to make sure we're all properly fed at every meal. And I think he's going to wonder how long it will last until it becomes the rule rather than the exception.

There's a Japanese proverb, "All married women are not wives." And I agree. I've been married and have stayed married, and intend to always be married. But I have not been a wife all of the time. And last week I learned that a successful wife is skilled not in everything, but is, instead, well-versed and committed to the basics. In some of the basics, I am an honor student, but in others, I could surely benefit from some remedial courses.

So, here I am in Use Your Damned Kitchen 101. And I intend to graduate. With honors.


Veronica Lucio said...

:) I consider you a Proverbs 31 woman... it's nearly impossible to achieve them all, but I know that Brock stands and says, “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:29

Here's Proverbs 31 from the bible:
A Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[c] clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

CJAlabama said...

True, so true! If I could go back, 7.5yrs back, I'd tell the Newlywed Christina this advice:
Cook for/feed him, sex him, and make sure his work clothes are always clean.

That's the secret to a happy marriage.

Who knew men were so basic.