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We always have Sunday Lunch Birthday Meals for everyone in the family – whatever your favorite food and dessert is, Mom makes it sometime around your birthday.
Except on Mom’s birthday, when I make her what SHE wants.
For the last three years, she has wanted homemade Vegetable Soup. It is her favorite meal, and, being the sacrificial person that she is, she almost never makes it, because “it isn’t the guy’s favorite”.
I have never heard the guys complain, but they could be just being nice.
However, other things haven’t ever gone as planned for Mom’s big meal.
Year one: Soupsplosion.
Year two: Soupsickness.
So needless to say, I was a bit uneasy going into this year’s meal.
To help prevent another soupsplosion, I farmed out dessert making to Lindsay. After the 2007 tragedy, I will always avoid large pots of soup and Pyrex baking dishes at all costs.
So we got out the HUGE stockpot – the one we only use for this such occasion. Which is cool, because it was Chris’ Grandma’s stockpot, and her birthday was two days after Mom’s, so we kind of get to celebrate both by using it.
On Sunday, everyone showed up to church – no one called and said that they got sick that morning and couldn’t make it.
But I was still nervous.
So on the way home from church, I gave the family a pep talk.
“We need to make this meal souptastic! So here’s the plan: When we get home, Chris – you bring the 250 lb pot of soup up from the downstairs fridge and put it on the stove. Carefully – remember – souptastic!! No tragedies!! Ali, you manage to play by yourself while Daddy brings up the soup and Mommy cooks cornbread. Don’t walk up to Daddy while he’s carrying the soup. Remember – he can’t see you if you can’t see his mirrors. I mean, his eyes. And you won’t be able to see them past the pot of soup. Remember – souptastic!! No tragedies!!”
And, believe it or not, all of this prep and avoidance of past mistakes actually worked.
We had a lovely meal with no tears (maybe a couple from Eli, but only because he wanted to keep playing with Ali’s big kid toys), no explosions (maybe one in Ali’s diaper before lunch), and no sicknesses (I changed the diaper so no one had to get sick).
It was a souptastic soupchievement!