What's for Dinner, Dude?
My son and I make dinner together. Like driving carpool, making a meal is a great way to check in with a teen, to take stock of his mood and find out what's cooking at school and in his social life. We listen to Pandora (Coldplay-like tunes in heavy rotation) and make mashed potatoes spiked with wasabi. We laugh about events of the day as we prepare a salad with goat cheese and candied pecans.
It wasn't always this way. Gabe's a vegetarian by choice and was once a very picky eater, too. There were nights when I wanted to tear my hair out with the monotony: plain pasta, plain tofu, raw vegetables. This went on for several years. Now everything has changed. Gabe is taller than me. Since his voice recently broke, I sometimes call his cell phone voice mail just to hear his little boy cadence again. He has new friendships with kids I don't know whose parents I've yet to meet. I adore the young man he's becoming while at the same time I grieve the loss of the boy he once was. He's moving quickly toward an independent life.