Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
He used to walk in the front door – a smile on his face, his shirt and suit still freshly pressed, no dark circles under his eyes. She met him there in the foyer. Makeup fresh; hair in perfect order; dress with a neat and tidy apron tied around her waist. You could almost smell the four course meal through the black and white tube.
Ward and Judy Cleaver had it figured out.
I wonder sometimes if those who read my letters to you sometimes get that impression of our family. I’ve written about a lot of hard times we’ve faced. But I think I also write to you about most of the great times. The picture in between is where we spend most of our time though – like every family. We’re not the Cleavers.
When I come home from work in evenings I’m tired. I’m rumpled. I’m crashing from a day of high caffeine fueling. I can generally hear the yelling and laughing from the driveway when I open my car door. The dog jumps up on me when I walk in – too much, until I’m forced to raise my knee and yell “No JUMP!”.
That gets your attention. The three of you run into the foyer and crash into me. You hug me and then go back to yelling and chasing each other.
Mommy is in the kitchen. Yoga pants and tee shirt. She’s usually wearing part of our dinner on her shirt.
Tonight was particularly chaotic at dinner. You were late for church Izzy. Mommy wasn’t feeling well. And you were wilder than normal Max and Kate.
Mommy made spaghetti and hot bread. We crowded into our small kitchen. As Mommy was pulling the bread from the oven I reached over to get the pepper container. As I was telling mommy about my day I shook the pepper onto my spaghetti. I noticed it was red. I looked more closely at the container: “Chipotle Pepper”.
Mommy tried to fix me a new plate, but I took my plate and sat down at the table with you kids.
“Let me get you a new plate,” she said.
“It’s fine,” I replied. I took several bites in quick succession and washed it down with water. Mopped up some sauce with the bread.
“Does it taste bad?” she asked.
“It’s horrible, but it’s fine.” We smiled at each other and continued with the chaos of dinner at our house. Spaghetti everywhere, spilled chocolate milk, butts on the table, the Ghostbusters theme song on repeat on someone’s ipod.
Not exactly 1960s family television.
Our little family is often a lot like Chipotle Spaghetti. It’s not perfect. It’s a little messed up. But it’s ours. It’s warm. And it fills me up.
I love you,
Sat: Rode 2 hours
Sun: Ran 6 miles
Tues: Swam 1300 / Ran 3 miles
Wed: Biked 40 minutes / Ran 1 mile BRICK