It’s not the most glamorous meal, but it’ll do for a rainy Friday afternoon at home. He finds me the can opener, the boy with the chipped front tooth, and I circle the blade around that familiar can.
I always add a little less water than the directions tell me to because it’s better and I’m not one to ever follow a recipe. Soon enough it’s done and the soup is ladled into plastic bowls: heavy on the noodles for the little two and heavy on the chicken for the oldest.
Why is it that each time I make them soup I forget this simple truth: that more of it ends up on the table and spilled down their shirts than it does in their bellies?
But they love it and I’m happy to provide the paper towels.
I realize as I’m wiping soup from the breakfast table that this! This precisely is why I love being at home with them. Not the wiping, but the being. The togetherness. The sloppy summer days. The baby dolls and pillow forts and cleaning it all up together at 5 o’clock before their daddy makes it home.
Lately they’ve been playing house. Suddenly there’s a cushion mound standing 5 feet high and little voices from deep within. Or a variation: apartments. They’ll attach their forts one to the next, each with their own little hut.
I’m coming over after my breakfast! yells a pig-tailed girl through a sofa cushion.
I imagine that one day they’ll be playing this game for real, that they’ll drive across town or on a highway somewhere to visit.
That thought is chicken noodle soup for this mama’s soul.