Let me just get the painful part out there: my naturally spawned progeny did not wish me a happy mother’s day. Neither of them. This oversight was ameloriated somewhat by the fact that two of my stepkids did — one of them even made me a cake (FAVORITE CHILD ALERT: LIZ). My son’s girlfriend brought me flowers. My mom sent me a giftcard congratulating me on surviving my children. My husband Eric feted me from dawn ’til dusk.

But the fruit of my own loom did nada.

So we sat down to a beautiful dinner prepared by my husband, shrimp and grits. Why? Because I asked for it. No, I’ve never made it and neither has he. It just sounded decadent and different and I really shouldn’t have to defend my choices to everyone anyway, OK? Wait. I think that’s a holdover from the same conversation I had with my birth children.  My bad.

Anyhoo, we commenced dining. Susanne — oh she of “I can’t eat this, it’s awkward” fame, when presented with $35 crabcakes she had ordered at my mom’s 60th birthday party — said, “UH UH,” with a look of total disgust, when offered shrimp and grits.

“One no thank you bite,” I said, and slopped a milligram on her plate.

(Eye roll — mine)

A few minutes later, Susanne had surreptitiously consumed the grits. A fork other than mine slipped onto my plate and snagged a shrimp and an especially delectable (cheesy, buttery, and did I mention cheesey and buttery?) bite of grits.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked her.

“I love you Mommy.” That’s her trademark “get out of jail” move. It didn’t work.

Now, this next bit requires backstory. Hang tight, people. When Eric was making dinner, Susanne came into the kitchen. That’s when she first started bitching about the menu. She picked up the package of grits, which was actually pre-cooked polenta. While this doesn’t sound like authentic shrimp and grits to you purists out there, it was exactly what the recipe called for, so there.

Back to the celebration of my life as a mother:

“Get your dirty fork off my plate. You didn’t even want any. If you want more, get it out of the dish, with the serving spoon.” I probably threw in a sweetie pie and said this in dulcet tones of love. Possibly.

“I didn’t know how much I liked to eat placenta,” Susanne said.

Everyone at the table groaned.

“What? Placenta is good,” she said.

Sixteen-year old Clark made retching noises.

“How did she survive to make it into high school?” Eric asked.

I just shook my head.

Liz piped in. “I wonder how this is going to go over with Tim Tebow?”

“WHAT? I don’t get it,” Susanne wailed.

Eventually Clark clued her in: “You just said you like to eat shrimp and afterbirth. Which explains a lot.”

This was after she’d eaten the rest of the shrimp and grits, licked the serving spoon, and poured herself the rest of the Fre (alcohol-free) champagne without asking whether her beloved mother would like a bit more.

I totally know what we’re serving now at the reception to her wedding to Tim Tebow.



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