Friday, September 21, 2018

Average Over Time: Never Say Never

When Mr. Butler and I got married, I knew how to cook.  I could follow a recipe. I had fried things and baked things.  I knew the difference between T and tsp and why that mattered a whole lot.  So, I knew things. My family cooked at home a lot and being the oldest I, of course, helped a lot.  Still, when I cooked for Mr. Butler and I - or especially for other people - I got nervous.  Thankfully, my husband will try anything and usually clean his plate without complaint other than the constant suggestion that it would be better with bacon.  My nervousness led to hesitance in the kitchen which resulted in mental exhaustion.  I never wanted to try anything too hard or time consuming because I was afraid of messing it up.  It wasn't a huge thing, but I endured cooking more than enjoyed cooking.

During the Race Car's pregnancy, I was a mess.  Sick, exhausted, and exhausted of being sick.  It got so bad that I couldn't eat anything but a chicken dinner from Braum's some days.  So, Mr. Butler was on cooking duty for a few months, which of course you might remember from this post that he excelled at it.  After the Race Car was born and we recovered to a new normal, I returned to the kitchen full time.  It still wasn't a joy, but I managed.  Thankfully, Mr. Butler is willing to whip up dinner when I ask, provided he has a menu and appropriate ingredients. 

Over the last year, something interesting has happened.  Deciding on a menu is still work.  Not forgetting ingredients is still challenging, but cooking a full meal for 5 gradually started morphing into this automatic thing I could do now without flinching.  The burden it was before shifted somewhere and now it's a skill.  I'm not a fantastic cook, but I was raised by two people who are.  My kids don't love everything I make, but I get a lot of "thank you for dinner, mom" that never gets old.  I'm still not in love with cooking - it certainly isn't a stress reliever to me.  But like a kid finally riding that bike and screaming, "Look mom! I'm doing it!" I have experienced a tolerance for it I never thought would happen.

As a young adult, newlywed or young parent, you often have opinions about things you know nothing about.  I would never do this and my kids will never do that.  Yeah, yeah.  I get it.  I think it's a right of passage somehow to say really arrogant and stupid things only to be 'educated' by life.  Whether it is perfectly behaved children, a marriage to be envied or questioning standards you thought immovable, we all have areas we just know will go a certain way and then they don't.  What I'm learning is that it is wise to look at the average over time.  Have patience with the struggles and never say never! We just don't know where the road will take us.

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