"It was my friend S---, Mom," I answered while trying to fill the washing machine with clothes.
"And you cooked for her and her daughter?"
"Yes, mom I did."
"And who is the girl who is not being nice to Daughter #1?" Mom asked with a bit of heat.
"It's the same girl from last year mom. The one who wasn't nice to her last year either."
And I as I answered these questions while trying to do laundry, it suddenly dawned on me. Mom was getting information, not from me but from elsewhere.
"Mom? Are you reading my blog?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes, I am. Because you don't call me and tell me what is going on and so I have to read your blog," she said, somewhat defensively.
And then I recalled something that happened a few weeks earlier, when she called me rather timidly on Monday saying, "You must be so tired and exhausted from the weekend."
"Yeah, you know, normal weekend craziness," I responded.
"Well, are you and Husband okay?"
"Yeah mom, we're fine. Why do you ask?" I wondered.
"I thought you guys fought."
"No mom we didn't fight. We're fine."
"Well you didn't call me so I thought you guys were fighting."
I assumed that she had just been presumptuous because of my telephone silence, she assumed that I was fighting with someone. I realize now she had read the blog post about how husband and I had fought in the past (my temper blog post) and was applying that to my current situation (even if it was history.) My mom was using everything available to find out information. Moms need information. They want to know if their children are okay. They want to know that their children are happy and content and doing all that they can in their life. They want the information. And I confess, as am mom, I want that information too.
"How was school today?"
"It was good mom," replied Daughter #1 or Daughter #2, take your pick.
"What did you do in school today?" I prompted.
"Stuff and boring stuff," came the reply.
"What kind of stuff?" I prodded again.
"Just boring stuff," replied Daughter, stifled behind a yawn.
Most recently in the quest for information, I've had Daughter #1 write me daily journals of at least 5 sentences long. I did it with the hopes that she would continue to develop as a writer and also so that I could get a snapshot of her day. Most of her journals reveal about as much as our conversations do.
"Today was a good day. We learned a lot. My favorite part of the day was when we had free choice. Nadia and Diana and I, together made a castle. I hope tomorrow is another fun day."
Sigh....not much information.
I do find that the casual conversations over our meals is the best place to glean information. I can sense their moods, their emotions, and their feelings. Snippets of information come out, and over the casual eating of food, more stuff gets revealed than with my normal 20 questions routine. If the meal is more delicious, generally there is more information because they aren't using their mouths to complain about how they don't like the food; they are using their mouths to talk and eat. Today, over this pasta meal, I learned that the kids don't like Dora the Explorer, that swimming lessons was fun, that they can't wait to go to Texas, and that although I'm a mean mommy, they love me anyway. Not bad from just feeding them a bowl of pasta! The CIA should try this same technique with their prisoners.
The egg yolk melts into the pasta, the bacon is crisp and a contrast to the tender pasta and the greens make it a bit healthier than simply just eating bacon and eggs. It is straightforward to make, but delicious nonetheless.
1 lb linguine noodles
3/4 lb (12 oz) bacon
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
12 oz baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
5 or 6 eggs, fried sunny side up (or if you are more clever than I, you can poach them.)
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
In a large pot of salted water, cook linguine according to package directions. Rinse and drain and set aside.
In a large frying pan, cook bacon until the fat has rendered and it is crispy. Drain on paper towels. You may have to cook the bacon in two batches.
In a large pan (or in the same pan you cooked the pasta), over medium heat add olive oil and sliced garlic. Allow garlic to begin to get lightly golden and then add chicken stock. Add pasta all at once and toss so the chicken stock and olive oil begins to coat all of the pasta. Throw in all the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt. Finish with basil. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Top with fried egg and parmesan cheese. Cut into the egg allowing the yolk to spill over the hot pasta. Enjoy!
One bite of this and tongues loosen.