If I made a new dinner and it didn't turn out well, he would say, You forgot the love!
Tonight I'm making spaghetti bolognese, on request for M.
We don't eat spag bol very often, because A hates mince meat. In fact she is not keen on red meat at all, and never has been. When we have spaghetti she has hers plain with oil and cheese, and will not even try a mouthful of meat sauce, though every time I give her a bit in a separate bowl and hope that one day she will.
M loves spaghetti bolognaise.
Lately we've all been sick and M has been hit the hardest, with headaches and sick tummy coming and going. I kept her home one Monday, and then on the Tuesday after I did reading help in her class, I took her home with me again, just an hour into the school day.
We spent the day relaxing and chatting and she watched TV while I got on with some of the household admin that had lapsed while I'd been sick (do not leave an overdue electricity bill unattended for two weeks).
Since then she's been spending a lot of time in the sick bay and I know there's nothing really wrong; she is trying to get the school to call me to come and take her home. Her teacher confronted her gently and so did I, and last night she came clean and hugged me and cried and said she wanted to stay home with me again "just the two of us."
Over recent months A has had some iss-yoos, and we've been working through them and she's going well. But I always knew we ran the danger of neglecting our resilient, capable and confident M. She is so together and independent and mature that this is easily done. I am always mindful of it and I don't think we do neglect her at all - but I think she's been feeling a little squeezed out of the parental energy supply just lately.
Last night she asked me to make spaghetti bolognese, so tonight I am. We'll have it for dinner tomorrow.
You won't usually catch me cooking the night before Y's day off. His days off are my days off housework and cooking, yay!
But tonight I am cooking the best goddamn spaghetti bolognese I can make. I am cooking it slowly from fresh whole ingredients and minding it well as it simmers and reduces to just the right consistency and rich tomatoey goodness.
And it is FULL of love.