Oh, fine American Cuisine…

My daughter is home from Antigua for a few weeks. I have not seen her for over a year, so I am a happy mom as you can imagine. All three of my cygnets under my wing for a short time.

So my kids and I made lists of all the things we wanted to do while she was here. Of course, at the top of the list was all the food she wanted to eat- certain home-cooked meals and Taco Bell. (if you can believe it) And then my kids said they wanted “Dino Nuggets and Smiley Fries.”

“Really?” I asked, incredulous… I haven’t bought stuff like that since they were all very little.

“Yes!” they shouted… “it’s our childhood!”

Oh man, I don’t know if that exactly makes me mother of the year if my kids associate processed food with their developing years… but, I set off to get the list of groceries and comfort food for the week and to find the frozen nibblets of happiness.

Then this artist and mom found herself in the frozen food section, with “Cats in the Cradle” playing above me on the store speakers (you can’t make this stuff up) and tried to stop crying while I grabbed the cold bags and realized my kids aren’t kids anymore.

At 23 my daughter will not be home very often anymore. She just got a job as a First Grade teacher on the island of Antigua where she now lives and so she is not coming back anymore except to “visit.”

My 20-year old daughter is heading back to the University of Iowa this Fall to enter her junior year. Considering she only has had one semester in her Freshman year on campus due to covid, I can’t blame her for wanting to get back to normal. Her plans include studying abroad next summer. So, this summer may be a rare event for all of us to be together.

My son turns 15 next week and is heading into high school. ‘Nuff said.

So today I sit at home in the quiet. They all went to a local amusement park called Kennywood today. Pittsburghers like me know it is a rite of passage for the summer. Life is getting back to normal. And I ask myself “What happened on July 29th, 2014?” What happened on a Tuesday after we had dino nuggets and smiley fries? Memories are a funny thing. Selective and so much lost.

So I will wait until they come back home.

I will have the Smiley fries waiting.


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