By Marsha Woods
Aw! Thanks giving! Such a delightful time of giving, sharing and togetherness! That is all well and good unless the day is spent in the domain of a daughter, who, with the good intention of taking the role of caretaker to a mother, who, has in the past, sweated tears in a kitchen of simmering pots and a day long adventure of solitude and even satisfaction, has given up her own domain and given in to the responsibility of culinary contentment! Once the kid takes over, the chaos begins!
Isn’t it delightful, after surviving the terrible twos and the tumultuous teens that the mother-daughter relationship finally alters into an adult and mature impasse? That is, of course, until the daughter marries and acquires a kitchen!
Growing up, my daughter took absolutely no interest in the dynamics of the fine dining experiences that I, so devotedly, delved out on her behalf. Now that she is queen of her own quarters, WATCH OUT! She has turned into a territorial tigress!
Going to visit her, I, like any other well-meaning, loving, concerned mother, enter her kitchen with only the best intentions in mind. The poor girl is exhausted most of the time, what with chasing three rambunctious boys. All I want to do is to give her a little break and a teeny bit of aid; you know, take away some of her pressure. So, what I don’t understand is why she gets all bent out of shape when I try to explain to her the proper way to peel a potato. Geez! You’d think that I committed some unpardonable sin of criminal proportion! Just because she has been doing on her own for over seventeen years, does she have the right to go off like Mount Vesuvius? I mean, what’s the big deal about opening the dishwasher mid-cycle to rearrange the dishes for better sanitation? Suds and floods can be mopped up, right? Pushing me into the garage and locking the door was rude! Obviously, the kid didn’t get her sense of humor from me!
Interestingly enough, there is a bit of déjà vu that occurs at times such as these. My own mother and I had our own culinary clashes in our day. The only difference was that my kitchen door led to the basement and there was no lock!
I suppose that it is normal for a mother to want to stage-manage her daughter, even when she is an adult. The problem is that when we teach them to be independent, they take it literally.
I, gratefully, have come to a truce with my daughter in regards to who rules the risotto. When at her home, I simply stay out of her way, ignore the smoke coming out of the kitchen, and go play G.I. Joe with the grandsons. It is more fun, and, besides, it’s cold in that garage!