I’ve been yearning to get my hands on this recipe ever since Patrick came home from his friend Dakota’s house and told me about it. He described Kraut Runza in reverent tones normally reserved for masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel.
“It’s so good, Mom. It’s like little hamburgers with the hamburger baked right into the bun. They’re great!”
“Great. I’ll call her and see if I can get the recipe,” I said, all Betty Crockery, as if I ever make anything that doesn’t start out as a mix these days.
“No Mom,” Patrick said.
He thought, and then he said, “You have things you do well. This is her thing.”
And that was when I realized that he was getting something at Leatrice, Mike, and Dakota’s house that he wasn’t getting at home–and that it was all right. It was not necessary for Patrick that I make Kraut Runza; he had Leatrice to do that for him.
For a moment there was a funny little twisting by my heart. Since his birth, it has been Patrick and me. But now it’s time to make room for other people in his life, people like Mike and Leatrice, who include him in their lives from time to time, people like Megan, who runs his after-school program, and Marty, who cans peaches for his birthday present, people like Marian, who takes him to youth group, and his teachers who foster growth and talent in him that I never dreamed of.
Sometimes it seems like we spend the first part of our children’s lives holding onto them as tightly as we can, and then we spend the rest of their lives loosening our grip, and making room in their lives for new relationships. That’s where we are now, and I am grateful there are good people around us who are ready to be part of Patrick’s life. Thanks for everything, Mike and Leatrice.