Simple gifts

17 Mar

My friend said “Come on over Friday night.  I am going to cook dinner for you.”  Huh?  Some one was offering to cook dinner for me?  I wasn’t sick, didn’t have a broken bone, and it was a run of the mill Friday.  Ordinary.  A regular old Friday night.  This had never happened before.  I just didn’t know what to think, how this worked.  Hhhmmmm.

Okay, so true confessions.  The kitchen control freak in me made busy work from an easy situation.  For a minute I let my ego win out and thought “Can my friend cook as well as me?  Can I truly just “let” some one cook a whole meal for me without stepping in and taking over?  Do I just stand there while my friend cooks?”  This was so out of my comfort zone because it had never happened before so I just didn’t know where to go with it.

Not that my friends aren’t generous.  They are.  It is not my nature to brag, but I do have to say that I am a woman blessed with amazing friends surrounding me.  They are generous, thoughtful, dependable, and beautiful!  They are my Playtex girdle,my 18 hour bra,  my full support!  We are a tight little group with an unbreakable bond.   So of course we had all cooked each other a meal at one point or another.  But this was different.  And I was still a bit thrown off by this generous act.

Flash back to New Years Eve 2012.  I made some major promises and commitments to myself, like in years past I suppose.  This year, though, unlike years past, I was focused and determined to remain true to myself in that.  So after running this very sweet offer from my friend through my head a zillion times, I decided to fully open myself to the experience and actually allow some one to do something nice for me.  Allow is a perfect word here, because I think there are times when we want to feel so capable, strong and powerful that we don’t allow other people’s kindness and generosity through.  To allow that almost seems like admitting to a vulnerability.  A weakness. Which is, of course, a ridiculous notion. So alas, I harken back to my NYE resolutions, and let the kindness in.

And it was a gift!  I walked into my friend’s house.  The smells of an epicurean at work instantly washed over me, causing me to pause and breath in the fine aromas.  My eyes closed involuntarily and I stopped and took in a deep breath.  The scents wafting through the air were amazing.  I wandered into the kitchen and was handed a glass of wine.  Music was playing.  A fire was gently crackling in the fireplace.  What?  Wow!  Holy cow!  Let the relaxation begin!

Being a single mother of 3 teenagers that works full time, I don’t have  much “down time” in my schedule regardless of what day of the week it is.  But this was a Friday in which I found myself with a little time because my children were all with friends, out for the evening.  I was able to slip out of the house too.  So we began to talk about our week and unwind a bit.  However, I think I was talking a little too fast, perhaps still in a frenzy over the busy week I had just finished.  And clearly my friend picked up on the fact that I was still a bit distracted from my week.  So then he smiled and gently said  “Relax.  Its Friday”.

Seriously?  Again, something new.  I could not remember anyone “giving me permission” to relax.  Ever.  This was an incredible gift.  One that I am certain my friend would never fully appreciate the magnitude of at that moment.  As the father of 3 children himself he understood the demands of single parenthood.  But his children are older than mine and all out of the nest, so his time has a different  rhythm than mine.  I am not sure he fully understood the immense appreciation I had at that moment to have been given not only “permission” to relax, but the tools in which to do so!  Huge gift!  Huge!

I will always remember and appreciate that evening for the simplicity of the words, of the generosity, and of the food.  I will also always remember the gift of time.  Time to relax.  Time to enjoy the company of some one wonderful.  Time to eat slowly.  Time to simply accept the generosity of another person.   That ordinary Friday became extraordinary in that the evening was full of subtle gifts.  The essence of those feelings now live in my heart.  Something I can now pass onto others.  Yet another gift….

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Maya Angelou

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