This week contained the day where the days start getting shorter. I forget what it's called, Summer Equinox? You know what I mean. It's my absolute favorite time of the year, but days to be already getting shorter just when the fun of summer is getting going always seems sort of not fair.
I keep thinking about that dinner that we brought over to our neighbor's house on Wednesday. The situation is that a month ago they were a family just like the rest of our rather homogeneous subdivision, and then the mother died in the night. She was 36 years old with two very young children, not even in school yet. I didn't know her but when the rest of the women in the sub heard what happened there was a desire to do something to help, and it was decided that we would take turns making meals for the family twice a week, similar to what is frequently done when someone has a newborn baby at home. So I signed up for a day, even though I've never done something like this before because as you know I am just now learning how to cook. Well I made spaghetti because that's easy and I have no clue how to make lasagna or a casserole. And one of the strawberry pies. They came out totally runny but I had the idea to put a squirt of whipped cream and a strawberry with the stem still on it to snaz it up a bit.
So I had the boys help me carry it over there and we walked along like some goofy food parade, Tim with a tupperware of the spag, Jeff with a foil-wrapped log of garlic bread held out in front of him, and me balancing the pie plate to keep the runny parts from spilling while I watched that snazzy whip cream melt into a pathetic puddle. When we got there he was of course gushing with appreciation, but I felt compelled to apologize for the appearance of the pie. I told him that we picked the strawberries just that morning. Then he looked at me and my boys and said "She loved to bake..." I quickly grabbed their hands and said, "We'd better let you eat that while it's warm!" and we skedaddled right on home.
I have no idea whether I helped this man in any way or simply added to his misery, but I do know that I have since hugged my children even harder and for the past few days remembered to cherish the moments I have with them, even if it's when I'm yelling about no playing with water balloons inside the house and now who's going to clean that up? Because life doesn't always let you know when the days are going to start getting shorter.