I've had a very frustrating afternoon. I will not bore you with the horrid little details, but take yesterday's annoyances concerning the birth certificate and multiply it...oh, maybe ten times, by adding a completely fruitless two hour excursion to two crowded government offices in very bad rush hour traffic and you will begin to understand my foul mood.
So I came home, fed Aiden and began to get dinner ready, stewing and steaming all the while over the perfectly futile waste of time and energy that constituted this day. All I could handle making for dinner was simple spaghetti and meatballs. And I managed to ruin even that. I burned the stupid sauce... and then I remembered something that miraculously softened my mood.
I remembered an incident from my childhood that took place maybe 20 years ago. Our poor mother had had a similarly trying day which culminated in burning spaghetti sauce. However, it wasn't completely burned beyond hope. She managed to salvage it, for the most part, but there were a few stray flecks of darkness in the sauce. However, knowing the fact that she'd had a hard day, we didn't say anything. ( A strange and uncharacteristic instance of merciful maturity on our part...) But then, a family member appeared on the scene, who shall remain nameless...partially because I can't remember with absolute certainty which of us it was...But it wasn't me! This person was apparently unaware of the outrages of the day, and not knowing the fact that the sauce had been partially burned, sat down at the table, started to partake of the dinner, and perhaps thinking that there was some strange, new seasoning in use, commented, " What are these little black things? They don't taste very good...!" I'm not sure it was funny to Mama at the time, being a sort of last straw on her poor back but it ended up becoming a family joke, brought out in odd moments over the years.
So as I saw the sauce sticking to the bottom of that wretched sauce-pan and realized with a feeling of simultaneous rising fury and sinking heart that I had flubbed yet ANOTHER THING today...suddenly, in my mind's eye, I pictured Andrew wandering into the kitchen, looking over my shoulder and murmuring with his characteristically impeccable timing, " What are those little black things? They don't taste very good.." And what could I do but SMILE.