Autumn Leaves and Pickled Beets
When my son was little he used to follow me around and do whatever I did. His father worked all the time and his only sibling, a sister, was five years older than him. We did dishes together, he helped me fold laundry, he had a pint sized broom to help me sweep the floors, and of course a pint sized rake to help in the yard with. One day during the fall we were out raking the leaves. We had lots of fun piling them up and then jumping into the piles and raking them back up again.
He was probably about 7 or 8 this particular day. We had been out for a while, when he stopped and went in the house. He had been in there about 20 minutes or so when he stuck his head out the door and yelled "Mom, come in the house! I made us lunch."
How sweet, I thought. Walking in though, I began thinking that there was nothing in there to make a lunch out of. I needed to go to the grocery store and I knew there were none of the traditional lunch things in the fridge. When I walked in, I was so surprised. This was his first attempt at something like this and the table was set perfectly. He had plates set with a sandwich and chips, a napkin neatly folded in two beside each, and a glass of tea already made.
I was ecstatic! He was grinning ear to ear and waited for me to be seated. I could not see what was in the sandwich and curiously, I asked, "What kind of sandwich did you make me honey?" He grinned even bigger. "Well," he said, "There wasn't anything you usually eat, but I know you like pickled beets, so I made you a pickled beet sandwhich!"
"Wow!" I said. What else could I say? I was thinking to myself, oh my, a pickled beet sandwich! I picked up the bread and peaked under it, and it was indeed a pickled beet and mayonaise sandwich. "It's very colorful!"
"Yeah, it's pretty isn't it!" He was so happy with himself. We had a wonderful little lunch that day. I ate every bite of that sandwich and praised him heartily for his efforts. Though I have not made myself another one, it actually wasn't half bad.
My son is grown now, and is quite capable in the kitchen. We often laugh about the pickled beet sandwich. I miss those days.