About twenty-five years ago, my mom described a dinner she hosted in Baltimore for Cousin Jim, visiting from Canada.
“Your brother’s children (two and three at the time) didn’t behave very well.” She paused and then said, “I think Jim is glad his own kids are grown.”
Zam! Mom’s comment really struck me (and for some reason has stayed with me).
Having grown children means you’re old (or at least it did to my thirty-year-old self).
Who wants to be old? Wouldn’t you rather deal with pesty kids than be old?
Jump back to now.
I’m walking in Gold Park on a steamy, soupy August morning. I pass the playground.
“Dad, Parker is being mean.”
“Then just play your own way,” says Parker’s dad from the bench. “Be imaginative.”
“Colin, Parker doesn’t own the playground,” says the dad. “Go play on another piece of equipment.”
“You boys just need to play separately.”
Then like a see-saw slamming to the ground, I get it.
Been there, done that.
I’m my mom. I’m Cousin Jim.
“See ya, Parker and Colin,” I say to myself as I head across the bridge for home. “I’ve invited grownups for a beer tasting. Got to bake some cheese straws.”
Old has some advantages!
What about you? Would you like to be thirty, raising Parker and Colin, or are you content with the age you are?
Mom’s Cheese Straws
Two cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
One cup very sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Six tablespoons butter, slightly softened
Eight or so tablespoons cold water
Blend dry ingredients. Add the cheese. Slowly add water and cut in like you’re making pie crust. Roll the dough pie crust thin. Cut into strips 1/4 inch wide with a sharp knife or pastry wheel. Bake on greased cookie sheets until golden brown. These keep well.
Disclaimer: My brother’s children turned out wonderfully, and I’m sure Parker and Colin will too!