Thursday, December 17, 2009

12/17/09 The Feast

Today Gabriel's class had an "international feast," in which every kid brings a dish representative of their culture to class for lunch, and parents are invited to attend.

I'd talk to my Mom about an easy French dessert, but it turned out that the idea was to use a recipe that the kid had to write down for homework some weeks ago. So, we made banana bread. Really, I made it, because I went to a cookie exchange party last night, and didn't have time to make it with Gabriel -- though he did mush up the bananas in a bag.

As it turns out, I did exactly what most other parents did: bring something I make at home all the time anyway. I'd have been one of the few who had to dig deep to find something representing my ancestral "culture," since the (mostly) Indian dishes that (most) Moms brought are daily fare anyway!

One Dad brought PIZZA. That was a huge hit.

Though I'm incredibly pressed for time at work, this was one thing I wasn't about to miss. I was a few minutes late though, and couldn't get the image of Gabriel's longing face out of my head, the one that was standing by the door of his kindergarten classroom, searching for me while the rest of his class celebrated the last day of kindergarten inside the room with their parents. I was 20 minutes late that day, and the guilt still follows me. Gabriel is so emotionally independent, but I've learned these things mean a lot to him, and it was important I be there. And I really wanted to be.

He insisted I sit down next to him, and when I didn't get any food, he insisted again I go get some food too. I got a little, then he got up and got me a few things he liked and wanted me to try.

He wasn't all business, of course. He and his table pals found a way to be silly with tortillas (or whatever these are).

I really had a good time, it's always fun to connect with other parents and see how the kids are in the class. One-on-one time with each kid is pretty rare these days, so it's a nice treat for both of us. And the banana bread was very popular -- one Indian mom even asked me for the recipe.

Tomorrow at work there's a big holiday potluck thing, and I have a reputation to maintain now with baking. I'm baking tonight, but I'm quickly getting baked out. And, Katrina's school is having a holiday party and performing songs, so I'll leave work early to watch her stand in a group and stare at the teachers and refuse to sing. And then I get to scramble to pick up all the food for Julian's party on Saturday.

I need a vacation from holidays!


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