Tasting Good

We read a story about the other side of the mountain, as a cow and his friends take a journey in the belief that everything is tastier and better on the other side, but they soon learn that is not true. In review as we discussed the book, AJ said, "There is no place better... than... Mommy's."
~ 7/12 note from Miss Kim, AJ & Lila's (delectable) teacher
I heard a story on NPR the other day about the power of infusing food with good intentions. The question was posed, "Why does Mom's soup always taste better than the canned variety?" Apparently, a team of experts got on the case and worked day and night to scientifically prove, or disprove, the importance of intention when it comes to the creation of gastronomical delights. The main assumption being, because Mom puts love into her meals, the outcome is happier dinners and, ultimately, happier diners. Whether or not this hyperbole has merit, a company called Intentional Chocolate has employed monks to pray over their gourmet creations, intending the lucky eaters to benefit from the very spiritual oneness and positivity that was bestowed upon their ebony and ivory confections. Who knew?

I could be cheeky here. I could poke fun and make silly remarks, but... well... The fact is, I truly believe that life is just too damn short to not believe in at least something like this. Madewith Love, in my opinion, is a great traveler. A hard worker. He crosses all borders, hefting his duffel bag, jumping to the front of the line, and making every effort to find his true intended, and making her smile without her ever knowing he was there... Whether you pray over, make kissy-faces, or smile your way through creating a gift, I believe the effort gets noticed in some certain way at the end of the day. And if that gift is soup, chocolate, a knitted sweater, a homemade macaroni necklace, a "Mellow Mix from the '80s" CD, or hotdogs and fruit roll-ups, the creator's intention will shine through, making the gift all the sweeter to the receiver.

I was getting ready for last weekend's trip to Block Island and had the entire suitcase packed and ready for zipping, when naked AJ cheerfully strolled in, turned around, and settled his butt directly atop my purple cardigan. He was sweetly singing "Three Little Birds" and telling me he'd miss me. His nakedness spreading all over at least one half of every one of my travel items. He was not freshly bathed, nor is he completely potty trained. But the thing is... as soon as my flight landed in NY and my suitcase was zipped open upon arrival in CT one half hour later, I seriously could not throw the damn ass-cardigan over my shoulders fast enough. That lilac sweater was the sweetest treasure for me - infused with AJ-ness and Bob Marley butt cheek love.

Sentimentality, you say? Yep. Motherly love, but no taste involved? Yeah, that's probably it. Now, what if I hadn't known AJ had sat on my sweater? Would I still have felt the AJ love? What if I never knew he had sang a reggae tune? What if I thought my suitcase was perfectly clean and without one iota of ass-ness or toddler longing involved? Great question, Jen. Hm. Well here's my honest answer: I swear, if you put enough effort and love into something, you will see that it has an outcome affected by that very same effort and love. Regardless, though it may take some time, love and good intentions breed more of the same. Message of the universe which I am learning more and more every single day.

A friend of mine asked me recently if I thought she'd go to Heaven. She said she wasn't a "good Catholic" and that God was most likely non-plussed by her religious-ness or lack thereof. I told her that I doubt very much Jesus, God, Buddha, etc. work that way. They wouldn't disregard her. Ever. The God I pray to doesn't care what religion you are. S/He doesn't care how perfect your life's recipe has been to date, but only that your ultimate life has been made with love. If there was intention for goodness, that is what matters. My friend's intentions are good, and her life is a loving one, and that is what matters.

Upon my return from RI, I could not for the life of me find AJ and Lila's undies. There were 14 in total! Seven "Cars" undies and seven "Tinkerbell" ones. I searched all of their drawers and couldn't find a single one. I finally got around to doing laundry (as if that's not normally the case) and, sure enough, found said underwear in random "oops" baggies... tied up neatly by both their daycare teachers and by Grandma and hanging out behind the regular, formidable stacks. In my haste to liken my little ones to perfectly potty trained bunnies ready for action, I had forgotten that there had been a few (14+) oopses in the past week... Their potty training, mistakes intact, had been 100% infused with good intentions. I had entirely disregarded the "mistakes" and had focused, instead, on the trying. And I think that's good shit.

I'll be the first to tell you I have made mistakes. I constantly make them. I could sit with you right now at the nearest Chili's and talk about how I'm worried about this and that and how I'm always second-guessing my skills at parenting/real estate/home maintenance/etc. How I currently have a pile of clean wrinkled laundry in the shape of a four-foot pyramid on my floor and am planning a dinner of hot dogs and fruit roll-ups. And you could, too. You could share with me your imperfections and I would embrace every single one. If you met me and told me you had it all under control and look-how-perfectly-I-do-things, it wouldn't sit well with me (though I'd readily fess up a bit of jealousy). I'm someone who needs the oops. I cherish mistakes with good intentions. In life, to me, that is what tastes good.  And that is, perhaps, why AJ thinks Mommy's place is A-OK.

h a p p y   w e d n e s d a y !


I haven't visited blogs in a whilllee since my baby was born. I just read this post in my reader and had to pop on over to "visit" u and tell u how much I loved it. U write beautifully and u are so right!!
JennyCB said…
Candy, thank you so much - and congratulations on your new little lion!! I'm going to pop on over to your blog and hope you've got pix!
Anonymous said…
I did love this so much. It speaks for the heart and makes me smile. I have an old drawing of 2 smiling squirrels titled "Share", my own little artist was filled with love and good intentions! These things keep going forward.. xoxo
Heidi said…
i loved this post. you are such a beautiful writer. my mom and i are sitting here. she's reading cooking light and i'm missing you more after reading this post.

i love that aj rubbed his bare bum on your cardi!!!! that is the sweetest thing ever.

oh yeah. i would make fun of the monks, but inside believe and want them to breathe over my chocolate too.
miss you.
Kelly said…
Hello, when is your magazine article coming out with all your awesome insight! Keep writing because I love reading! xo
Kelle said…
JEN! That print is my treat, baby. What size you want? Miss you! xoxov

Okay, not going back to read your posts.

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