This evening I slowed down enough to savor the subtle moments that will define the steps along this course. My oldest son’s friend and basketball teammate had come over to spend the night, and I was making home-made lasagna with the best store-bought garlic bread.
The steam from the boiling noodles began to film the kitchen windows, and I smiled at how nice it is to actually have a kitchen window. How nice is to know that no one will be drawing the shades on my windows at 2 AM, keeping the dawn sunlight from flooding these expansive rooms.
As I gently folded the garlic, parmesan cheese and egg into the mass of ricotta I realized that these simple things, the collection of these peaceful moments are what will stay me from endlessly swinging back from my sorrowful past and forth to my terrifyingly unknown future.
I slowly lined the casserole dish with a layer of pasta, and carefully spread the ricotta blend over it in a thick layer. I listened to the boys watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians downstairs as I sprinkled the mozzarella shreds slowly and evenly over the sauce. I noticed how calm everyone seemed, how content. Tonight we don’t have to worry about someone being called a douchebag, or a retard, or an idiot, simply because they turned the TV up too loud.
…and it was a bit too loud. So I left the unfinished dish on the counter under the too-watchful eyes of Nya the cat. I padded to the balcony overlooking the den in my worn, black kufs and simply said, “That’s up a little too high. Turn it back down to 35 and keep it no higher than that.” The fading symphonic strains from the movie evidenced their compliance, and I wondered how anyone could think parenting needed to be more severe than that.
Dinner had been cooked, and laundry was being changed. When I finally took my plate to the dining room to join the boys I saw my oldest son had already cleared his first helping. His younger brother offered the piece of garlic bread he was too full to eat for Jed’s second serving as our guest told me he had never had lasagna before; that his mother only made spaghetti. I felt sad inside for him, but grateful that he was able to at least try it once here, in my serene home.