The little twerp gave me four hours notice.
Four hours to "…ooooh, just whip up a n y t h i n g you have time for, nothin' special…" although if I had time, "one of your amazing apple pies and maybe a delicious pasta dish…stuffed shells?"
My husband ran to the store to pick up what I didn't have, and the kitchen counters were strewn with ingredients I already had on hand.
But then I got the text–
"Hey mom im sorry but i totally forgot about this group project i have to do for a class tonight at 5…i'm hoping to get out of here by 7…is that ok?"
Which wasn't okay, because we ALL know "7" means "8 or 9" and that would make travel time from her college stupidly late for dinner, and she'd have to leave right after arriving with no time for a visit At. All.
So I replied, "Let's just do it another time," and dejected and disappointed, I refrigerated the groceries and tucked ingredients back on the pantry shelf.
But then I got a phone call that the group project was called off and she REALLY WANTED TO COME even if it was just for dessert because HER FRIENDS WERE SO EXCITED.
"How many?" I ask, excited to meet her friends, all new.
"Four right now…" she trailed. And she was in a talking mood with stories to tell, which was PURE TORTURE FOR HER MOTHER WHO DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO TALK BECAUSE I HAD A FEAST TO PREPARE.
"YOU KNOW HOW I AM WHEN COMPANY'S COMING! I'M DYING TO HEAR BUT NOW IS NOT THE TIME!" and she laughed because she knew the truth of my screech but she insisted, "Seriously…don't go to any trouble," which was an absolutely RIDICULOUS thing to say because OF COURSE I was going to go to trouble, which makes me wonder about that turn of phrase… going to trouble.
Everybody knows when you say "don't go to any trouble" it means "git 'er done but somehow magically without any inconvenience or work" which makes no sense at all. It is inconvenience, it is work, but when it's delight it's hardly troubling.
So I guess I did and I didn't go to trouble.
Which explains why it takes me so long to do anything because of my brain's need to hop bunny trails. Oy.
At mock speed, I get everything back out of the fridge and pantry and begin multi-tasking. Life's short. Dessert first. Apple pie starts my whirlwind.
I'm a wizard at ranking priorities.
Then onto the shells. Stuffed shells is not the go-to dish when you're in a hurry, but this IS my baby girl bringing four friends home from college and I'll move heaven and earth to feed that child what she wants.
Did you feel a seismic shift yesterday?
In what would turn out to be the Most Brilliant and Providential Decision of the Day, I made two batches; one recipe a Florentine beef stuffing, the other, cheeses and spices. Mmmmm.
At some point, and I'll confess, I'm taking considerable creative license in writing this because I really don't remember what happened when, I get a text that the count is up to eight friends. Then a call, nine.
"People are finding out that you're cooking and they want to come…" she sheepishly explains and I assured her it's fine. You'd think I won the friggin' lottery–my cooking prowess has traveled with my daughter to college and I am happy, just a' swirlin' in my element.
"Oh, and it's Jamison's birthday Tuesday, so this is kinda like a party for him."
Cheers to Brilliant and Providential decisions. Like the choice to make a second dessert for those who (gasp) (horrors) don't like apple pies, so I go with safe and fast, a double chocolate pudding pie ~ praise God for all things sweet and holy ~ I had everything I needed!
Really, I praised Jesus for that. And meant it.
"No problem…it's under control…." I tell her, and I'm baking and cooking and stuffing shells and cleaning toilets in between–I think I washed my hands*–and I believe I set an Olympic record of some sort for my performance.
This is when mothers roar.
Exactly when I am on the last step ~ buttering and garlicking bread ~ they arrive en masse, a swarm of laughter and life.
They're precious and polite and bundles of dynamite.
I like these new friends.
Somehow my blog comes up and I learn that at least one of them has already googled and found it. I'm not quite sure what to think about that, so I quickly change the subject.
Soon enough it's time for them to go. I really, really, REALLY wanted to hug them all good-bye, but I suppressed the urge deciding to save that for next time. And right as they headed out the back door, I found their love note ~
Jumping through hoops pays REALLY well.
p.s. my husband was a really big helper.
p.p.s. SK, I am SO sorry you were mostly cut out of the piccha…not that you can recognize anyone else….
p.p.p.s. * I promise I washed my hands.
* * * * *
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Top photo credit from Gumball Grenade on Etsy, "Whimsical Art Prints and Originals for Magical Thinkers." J'adore!