I did not want to think about dinner. I was frustrated that despite the fact that someone else is supposed to cook dinner most nights of the week, I still spend every afternoon/evening worrying about dinner and prodding big kids to do their job to feed little kids. Plus the house is a disaster. Especially the kitchen. I really couldn't stand the thought of helping X with dinner. So I hid out in my bedroom and left him to fend for himself because I was a chicken.
Eventually dinner was ready. I came down just a little late and missed the prayer. But as I was walking in, I heard JJ tell X thanks for dinner. Then the younger kids all chimed in and thanked him, too. It was one of X's favorite meals--pasta, sauce, cheese and pepperoni just all mixed up. And he was kind of upset that he had wasted so much food. Apparently he added the sauce before he drained the pasta. So when he drained the pasta, he lost a lot of sauce. I thought it was kind of sweet that he was so upset about it and actually kind of funny that I had specifically spelled it out to him to drain the pasta first less than 5 minutes before he did it. In one ear and out the other. It actually turned out to be the best of that dish we've ever eaten. Better than he or anyone else has ever made it. Go figure.
After dinner the Hubba asked everyone to pitch in a bit on the kitchen. I hated those words. Because I just wanted to get out of that hell hole. Everyone started clearing the table and stacking everything in and around the already full sink. So I knew that my job would be to load the dishwasher. And then I figured I might as well just keep on going and hand wash everything else sitting there and waiting its turn.
Something stunk to high heaven, too. Like the kind of stink where you get a whiff and almost want to gag. And if you're the Hubba, maybe you do gag. We took care of one or two immediate sources but still, something strong lingered. Baboo could barely even tolerate the kitchen at all for the smell. And the sink is clogged on one side, too, so that makes everything extra nice! As I'm standing in the thick of it washing dishes, she said, "Thanks for washing disgusting, smelly dishes mom." It's funny how just hearing her acknowledge how awful the job was and thanking me for it made me feel...What is the word? Appreciated, I guess. Except it's more than just being appreciated. I felt seen and acknowledged and like my work was worth something. And feeling that way made the job better because then I was happy to render this service.
And a little while later while I was STILL standing there washing dishes and Wiyah was getting ready to clean out the kitty litter she said, "You are superwoman, mom." I don't know what made her say that just then. But that also meant a lot to me. I don't think you can underestimate how much mothers want to and need to hear those things.
Later on as I was nearing the end of the dishes, Baboo came in and was talking to me about the viewing of a friend's mother that she and Wiyah went to this evening (Wiyah drove the Honda again--much farther this time) and we were just kind of processing things and talking about the difficulty of trying to give comfort in a situation like that. And as the conversation turned she told me about an incident when she was young and first learning to play the piano. I had a friend over and she had just learned to play "When my mother calls me, quickly I'll obey." She started playing the song really loudly because she was trying to send me a message. And the message was that she loved me. I said, "You love me?" And she gave me a look like I was crazy to ask such a dumb question and said, "I love you!" Baboo isn't very huggy (another topic of conversation that came up soon thereafter) and she doesn't often say that to me. It was nice to hear.
So all in all, even though washing that humongous pile of dishes was the absolute last thing on earth I wanted to do tonight, it turned out to be kind of nice.