I tend to avoid dragging the boys into the grocery store with me, which generally isn’t hard as they resist being dragged. But the other day, Younger accompanied me as I wandered through the aisles, grabbing, at one point, a box of macaroni and cheese.
Turning towards me, he waggled the box. “Can I try to make this tonight?”
Already exhausted, I shrugged. “I don’t know, Younger.”
“Mom,” he said, quietly, dropping the box into the cart. “I watch Elder cook, and you are still fixing my plate for me.”
“Oh.” I took a deep breath. “All right then. You can make macaroni and cheese tonight.” I sucked in another deep breath and added, “And I’ll stop fixing your plate.”
Lifting both hands, palms outward, one corner of his mouth tilting into a crooked grin, he stammered, “Well, now — let’s not — you know — ”
“Do anything drastic,” I supplied with my own sardonic humor.
“Yeah,” he agreed, nodding. “We don’t need to do anything drastic.”
So, we didn’t do anything drastic. We just made some macaroni and cheese from a box.
Just one small step towards declaring independence.
And breaking a mother’s heart.