Thursday, August 18, 2005

A delicious feast

It felt like a holiday yesterday as I donned my denim chef's jacket and cooked...and cooked:
  • Duckling, roasted with my top-secret glaze (so secret that I doubt I'll even be able to recreate it, since I won't remember the secret ingredients)
  • Probably the best poultry/fowl gravy I've ever made, prepared from the duckling's neck, homemade turkey stock, the reserved juices from roasting the duckling, red wine, and a few other secret ingredients
  • Stuffing/dressing that caused my husband to wax eloquent about its deliciousness
  • Yams (unfortunately our favorite type ♠ garnets ♠ weren't yet available, but I was pleased just to find any in the stores)
  • Rice
  • Apples and onions with bacon
  • Green beans cooked in some of the bacon fat (No, I usually do not cook this way, but this made the green beans taste so German!)
  • Gingered peaches with cranberry sauce (I had to do something to doctor up the canned cranberries, since I hadn't had the foresight to freeze cranberries this year)
  • A wonderful mixed green salad
All of this cooking frenzy, which also involved a few able food prep assistants to do some of the chopping, slicing, etc., was in honor of the 20th birthday of Child #1. He had requested duck for his birthday meal, and I rounded out the menu with some of his other favorites. What a feast!

It's hard to believe that this firstborn child of mine is now almost an adult. Family friends joke that when one turns 18, he/she becomes "a dolt", not reaching true adult status until age 21. So supposedly my son is still "a dolt". But I am intensely proud of this boy-man. (OK, son, perhaps you had best stop reading this entry, lest you get the big head!)

A few years ago, this son went abruptly from a carefree, relaxed childhood to the adult world, when he was thrust into a full-time professional position that required a great deal of responsibility and a steep learning curve. His first day of work was about 14 hours; and he worked long hours for a number of months until he was up to speed. Then he added full time college classes to his already busy schedule, and has managed to maintain a high grade point average. He became a certified optician at the youngest age possible (he was disappointed that he had to wait until he turned 18). He learned to drive during this busy time also, through what we jokingly referred to as a "crash course". Luckily, no actual crashes were involved.

I had no idea that this particular son, who used to languish in bed for hours, had so much drive, so much determination, so much personal vision, and such a work ethic.

And, on top of it, he's such a delight to be around. Well, most of the time...

Tomorrow, he will leave a huge hole behind, at work and at home, when he packs his car and heads off into the great big parents' home, to be exact, where he will be living as he continues his college education. He's been clearing out his room, and there is some mysterious pile of stuff out in our music room which I assume is the stuff going with him on his new adventure.

The reality of this new situation hasn't really hit me yet. My oldest is no longer a teenager (child #4 just announced that he is taking his place in teenagerhood next month...eeek!). Actually he has never been a typical teenager, even when he was in what he now refers to as his "bumhood stage". He has been doing a man's work for almost three years now, and doing it well. And he's been busily preparing himself for his future. And now he's venturing from the family fold...and things will never be the same again.

But I expect, with God's grace, great things from this son.

(Even as I type, he is asking Child #6 for advice about how long to wait until he finds a wife and gets married. Youngest Child is giving him some rather off-the-wall advice...which is par for the course!)


  1. My heart goes out to you, Rebecca. I understand about the huge hole they leave behind and how hard that is to adjust to.

    I am very proud, right along with you, of your son's achievements and ability to take his place in the adult world.

  2. When my boys were all preschoolers/toddlers/infants, it seemed that that stage of life would last forever. Now they are all school aged and I read about your boys and katiekind's and I realize how fast they grow. I have a lot of mixed feelings about that. It helps me to watch y'all, who are just a few steps ahead of me and my boys. . .