The husband stood beside the stove, poised over the cutting board to chop up the ginger that would be tossed into the hot oil sizzling in the pan. He was on the precipice of dinner, and I pulled him back.
Can we order in? I asked, finally telling him about the late afternoon that made the loveliness of the rest of the day disappear in a haze of tears. The boy cried for fifteen minutes before the teenager who was coming to play with the kids showed up at the door. Mommy no go he sobbed as he clutched my chest, fingers entwined in my shirt just in case I tried to set him down. I thought I should prepare them that I planned to sneak out to run a few errands. My mistake. When the teen showed up the boy became hysterical. Lacking the energy to deal with a crying child and a sixteen year old boy unsure of how to deal with a crying child, I sent the teenager home. My boy cried for another 15 minutes while he sat on my lap, my free arm around the girl's shoulders.
The boy would likely be disapointed to know that all his hysterics did was convince me of the importance of leaving him with a babysitter every once in awhile. Now I just need to find someone capable of listening to Mommy no go on repeat while watching tears stream down his angelic face. I am hoeful that I already have a lead.
Dinner was the perfect antidote to the afternoon. The four of us sat happily around the table eating our take-out veggie burgers and sides from the joint down the street. The girl ate all her pickle. Both kids drank all the chocolate milkshake we poured into their child sized cups.
That's an onion ring I told the girl when she picked up the foreign looking circle of fried goodness. An onion ring? she asked. Is there onion in it? Yes I told her. Did you know that when I was a little girl I would go and get onion rings and root beer in a frosted cup after dance class on Saturdays? On Saturdays? she wanted to know. Not on Sundays. No, I answered, not on Sundays.
The girl twirled the onion ring on her finger. Around and around. She took a bite and then spat it out onto the table. I watched as she freed the onion piece from the batter, licked it and then surreptitiously dropped it to the floor. Biting into the batter she finally raised her head. Mmm, onions rings are good she said to me. Thank you for this amazing dinner.