THE DAILY TABLE::It's Mama's Kitchen

"It's your kitchen!", Cinnamon exclaims as she notices me staring at my husband at the sink drinking from the faucet trying to lessen the burn of the raw garlic. "It's hot", he replies and walks out of the kitchen. Yes, we had a lot of raw garlic for dinner to go along with the spaghetti that Cinnamon requested for dinner.

"It's Mama's kitchen because mommies can cook", continues Cinnamon.

"Papas can also cook", adds Saffron, "...but not ours!" I had to laugh. I wish it wasn't true, but unfortunately it kind of is. Or it's simply a matter of becoming comfortable in our respective "roles".

I'm sure if my husband really wanted to learn, like if I wasn't around, he might be able to pull it off with time. Kind of like if my husband was not around and something happened to my computer. I'd think about looking into the issue. Maybe. I used to deal with computer issues and networks for a couple of large companies (it's how I met my husband) but I never felt it was my "thing". I even passed a few industry certifications, but then life changed. Change is what it's all about these days. Sometimes good, sometimes a real challenge.

As my daughter walked out the door this morning to catch the school bus, she handed me a colorful bead bracelet she made. One she carried in her backpack. She wanted me to keep it safe. "Why?", I asked.

Apparently the girl she sits next to on the bus keeps taking out a few items in my daughter's backpack as my daughter reaches for a book to read on the short drive to school. Ugh! These are the challenges I face now. Defending my children and trying to make things better for them. It's a different kind of challenge and one that, I suspect, will not get easier as they grow older and encounter mean people in a sometimes unfair world.

After I dropped off my younger two at school this morning, I took some much needed time for myself. "Are you coming back", my husband asked as I was walking out the door with Cinnamon and Sage. "I have a few errands to run", I replied. Usually I return within 15 minutes to sit and have coffee with him. Today, I needed to get out of the house. It can get "cagey" at times.

I had no set plan where I was going. All I knew was that it had to be outside of the house...at least for an hour or two. My first stop was Pottery Barn. I hadn't been there in a while. The store displays are always so beautiful that I sometimes wish I could live there. Only sometimes. Today I noticed some Christmas displays amongst the Thanksgiving table setups. Everything is so clean, seasonal, beautiful, and super organized. I guess it's why I love going there...because it's so opposite of our home. I did treat myself to one coffee mug - in red, of course.

When my husband saw it he said, "Oh, you bought another photo prop!". "No", I replied, "it's for me". "Ah! You're actually going to use it." You bet I am! These are great mugs. I know...I have one in brown and in aqua. Maybe next time I'll get the white one. Or the green one. Or both.

My next stop was heaven. For me, that's the bookstore. I spent a while there looking through new releases and books for the kids. I stumbled upon a Ravensburger puzzle with the title "Sanctuary of Knowledge". It would be the ultimate dream to live in such a place - a castle/cathedral-like place in the English countryside, surrounded by bookcases lined with hundreds and hundreds of books, on floors above and below. All the while enjoying a nice evening by the fire with one of those books. Heaven indeed! Yes, I did get that 1000 piece puzzle. Although I'm not sure when I'll get around to putting it together. I still have the Death by Chocolate one to complete.

I walked out of the bookstore with something for everyone. A new Babar book for Sagey (the Ghost one)...

...four math/reading workbooks for Saffron in addition to a "Little Bear" reading book...

...and two connect-the-dot activity books for Cinnamon. Also a magazine for my husband and new release book for me from a favorite author of mine. I almost grabbed Patricia Cornwell's new book, but held back, for now.

My last stop was the one I had intended to be my only stop - Whole Foods - to buy milk and ingredients for whatever came to mind for dinner. I got in and out of there fairly quickly and drove home where I had enough time to read the first chapter of John Grisham's new book, "Racketeer".

Dinner turned out to be different than I had intended. I started to take out the celery and carrots for lentil soup when Cinnamon stated she wanted spaghetti for dinner. "Ok", I replied. That's much easier than chopping a bunch of veggies and having the soup cook on the stove for 2+ hours. No sauce to make either. All the girls wanted on their spaghetti was freshly grated Parmesan. As for my husband and me...I chopped up several cloves of garlic and combined that with fresh oregano and basil from the garden, along with fresh thyme, olive oil, sea salt, and Urfa red pepper. A quick and simple no-cook "sauce" for times when you just don't feel like spending more time in "your" kitchen.

Sagey fell asleep before dinner. I suspect he'll be rather hungry tomorrow for breakfast.