Thursday, March 05, 2009

Give Away Pizza!

Logan's neighbor buddies rode bikes with him till the sun almost set, and then I called Logan in. He rarely comes obediently with a, "Yes, Ma'am," but sulks and lumbers and whines. Tonight, as I waved goodbye and watched our friends walk away, I asked myself why I was insisting on secluding my family for dinner. Tom wouldn't be home till late, so why not invite the neighbors to join us? I was planning on making homemade pizza, and knew they'd enjoy that--they have worked at our stove with us many times before, and are always receptive & appreciative, so why did I hesitate?

Sometimes I convince myself I am more tired than I really am just because the task before me is more than I want to take on, or more than I perceive I'm ready/available to manage. I think it's really laziness.

The kids & I had just trudged home from a glorious romp through the wet, wooded paths behind our community. We wore our bulky boots, and left imprints of our travels behind in either snow or mud for about an hour. The chilled air refreshed, while the lowering sun warmed our backs. Teagan fell into mucky puddles twice, but wanted to keep going. She was filthy. Logan chose solo walks ahead of Teagan and me, and I was delighted at his comfort with that independence. I didn't reel him back to my side. Instead, I carried on a little conversation with my daughter as we held each other's gloved hands: priceless.

When we got back to the house my idea was hot drinks, kids in a sudsy bath and peace in the house. When Logan asked to ride his bike with his friends, I gave him a 30 minutes timer.

Inviting two more kids inside, after I'd just stripped Teagan down & changed her clothes? Didn't fit my expectations for the evening's activities.

It took me about five minutes to throw out the vision of bubbles and tea, and welcome a little chaos. Each child wore one of our six aprons (I didn't realize we owned so many until I needed five, and found them!), washed hands, rolled up sleeves and made dough from scratch. Liseth spread tomato sauce, Logan added olives; Teagan grated cheese, William spread it. Twenty-five minutes later eight slices of pizza were served to a set table. I felt like I'd witnessed the Little Red Hen's best ending.

"How's the pizza, guys?" I asked.

"Yeah, it's really good," said William, who chose broccoli and tomato toppings, but no black olives.

"Well, you know what makes it so great?" I baited.

"No, what?"

"YOU MADE IT!"

Everyone grinned.

Spending time with them was so much better than running another couple loads of laundry while the kids bathed. I'm glad I'm flexible. I'm glad we have great friends just across the street. I'm glad we had plenty in the fridge for fresh, delicious, homemade pizza! Let the laundry wait.

To love (God) with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Mark 12:33 (New International Version)

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