Four burners – that is all…

All day long I’ve been feeling a blog post coming on, but I wasn’t quite sure what it would be about.  I’ve has SO many things on my brain lately that I didn’t know which deep thought to dissect publicly. 🙂

After a tremendously long day at Six Flags with Kate, my sister Amy, and my niece Annie, I am just about out of steam.  Actually, I’ve been out of steam since about noon.  That’s what four trips on the Whizzer and three runs on the American Eagle will do to a girl.  So, upon getting home, I geared up for bedtime and relaxation supreme.  Tubs for everyone, jammies please, and in the kitchen I started a pot of chicken noodle soup.  Lovely. However, within a minute, I realized I had an important email to write.  So the soup continued to warm while I began the email.  About two sentences into the email, Jake reminded me that I had promised to start his tub.  But of course!  Abandon soup, leave computer charging, begin to run the bath water.  Check.  Jake started to strip down, so I stirred the soup and went back to my email.  Which was when Brian came in from outside and needed help with a project.  Why not?  Boy?  Naked.  Soup?  Burning.  Email?  Not even close to being done.  Help with project?  Check.  Glancing at the stove on my way out the door to assist the Mister, I thought to myself “Too many irons in the fire!”  And then I loved the irony, because truly one of my irons was sitting on the gas flame of our stove.  Too perfect!  Which was what got me thinking… I had my hand dipped in four projects at once and was struggling.  There are four burners on the stove, too.  Rarely do I use them all but they have all, at some point, been in use.  Every once in a while (a LONG while!) they are even all used in tandem!  A feat, no doubt.  And often, when I am foolish enough to try to cook four dishes at once, something turns out burned.  It is dadgum near impossible to actually work with four burners on four different foods needing four differing levels of heat with four different spoons to stir them!  Phew!  So then I started thinking about how I really only use the front two burners most of the time anyway.  And I had to wonder… Is life like that?  Would I do a better job if I just used the two front burners most of the time?  Maybe keep some rice or pasta on a backburner to compliment the big things but really just take the two main staples and work on those? I know that, although I have begun to understand my own limitations in the kitchen, I still attempt to manage many burners in life… Often more than four!  I feel like I see a lot of moms ‘cooking with multiple burners’ – loving on kids, taking care of the home, working a job, exercising faithfully, and attending social events with the greatest of ease.  But what if not all of us are actually meant for that?  I’m no Rachel Ray, and it will NOT be pretty if I cook using too many burners at once.  So tonight, laying in bed with two llittle munchkins beside me and a precious husband attending a wake for the mom of a dear friend, I have to wonder – what are my two burners to focus on?

For me, I think family counts as one of them.  Brian, Kate, and Jake, and whatever that entails.  If Kate needs me as a homework helper after school, that’s my burner clicking to warm up.  When Jake has a fever and needs a mommy to coach him through a sleepless night, my burner is simmering.  And when Brian needs a quiet place at the end of the day to unload the troubles of trying to please 500 families, I’m that girl and my burner is at a boil and ready. That’s my first burner.

My second burner?  Hands-down that one is my friends.  Though there are a lot of other things out there vying for my attention, I want to chose wisely with that second burner.  With only two main burners and two small ones in back, my friends are way too much of a gift to relegate to a backburner… Friends are simply the family I got to pick. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m going to try to wake up in the morning, think about the projects of that day, and pick the four that get to be on the burners.  I’ve got the two big ones, and the two little ones can shift around on any given day. Any more than four, though, and I’ll start burning things!  Any less and we’ll go hungry and get bored.

And to kickstart tomorrow’s burners, I just heard from Kate with a precious request… “Mommy, remember how I had a bloody nose last week?  I’ve been sleeping in bloody bed sheets for a few nights now… When I’m at school tomorrow, could you please change my sheets?”  Clearly bed sheets has NOT been on the burners for me.  But I guarantee it will be there tomorrow.  Along with whatever else comes my way….

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