I was struck by something funny the other day as my husband and I prepared our Easter dinner a day early for a change. Ready for my big revelation? I think that we are officially all grown-up now. How’s that for news? Not really news, is it?
I realize that that statement may sound silly to some, but every now and again I catch a true glimpse of myself as the middle-age woman that I am instead of the late teen/early twenty-something that I more often see myself as in my mind’s eye. Of course, having had forty-some Easters now with a lot of practice at both eating and preparing meals, the number of lifetime suppers keeps things real.
After my husband and I washed up our turkey (controversial, I know) and put it in the oven, we then shared the kitchen space preparing our other dishes. That was when it dawned on me that we have taken on the role of our parents, as I fondly recalled my own mom and dad making the same preparations time and time again. This year, like last year, everyone in our families would be simultaneously making their own dinners since COVID-19 dictates separate celebrations (again!). 😢 For some reason, in that moment of ‘dancing’ around my husband at our island with each of us doing this and that, I realized that we were completely self-sufficient. Our younger versions of ourselves were all grown up and doing what grown-ups typically did for special occasion dinners. As kids, all that mattered at Easter-time was the egg hunt and finding more of the foil-wrapped chocolate goodies than our older brothers. Now, all that matters is that our Butterball is cooked through and that the gravy doesn’t taste too floury. While finding the chocolate treasures was clearly more fun, there is a redeeming sense of satisfaction in producing a company-quality dinner all by ourselves. It’s almost as if we’re worthy of the grown-up stamp of approval if we can pull off a turkey and all of the fixings.
Do you ever share similar realizations about your age as me? On the inside, I often feel like the much younger me, yet on the outside, my age has caught up with me for sure. I can feel the physical wear and tear of the decades spent on my body, and I see daily evidence in the grey hairs and wrinkles that I am now sporting. Despite my aches and pains, fading memory and eyesight, I still think of myself as Little Sue in so many ways still. Especially when I think of my family since I am the youngest. I guess it’s good that I feel youthful in some regards, but it makes those moments of adulthood clarity somewhat striking when they hit leaving me to ask things such as, Is this really me? Am I really creeping toward my fifth decade on this Earth? The answer is yes.
For the record, our Butterball was the juiciest we’ve ever cooked up and the gravy was delicious. I joked with my brother that the only reason it turned out so well was because no one else was here to partake or witness our great cooking feat. Ah well. Next time, maybe we’ll include an Easter egg hunt for old time’s sake.