A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flatwear Developments

My everyday flatwear is a hand-me-down from my Grandma Drake. She bought it collecting Betty Crocker points off the top of cake boxes and what not, and given the amount of baking she did for the church and the Eastern Star, it's unlikely it took her long.

I have this set, as pictured except I have a grapefruit spoon vs soup spoon - the rest are fork, salad fork, teaspoon, long handled teaspoon, table spoon, and butter knife & make a complete set that my Grandma had intended to take with her and Grandpa to Florida when they retired. They had a lot, somewhere near Ft Myers, which was far enough inland for alligators to eat your dogs but to not see the beach. You can see why they were going to need the grapefruit spoons. Florida, lotsa citrus fruit.

I'm not terribly picky about which utensil I use for what. My mother had the good breeding and manners to make sure I not only can set a table properly but that I actually do in fact know what's what. But, as I've aged, I don't really mind or notice what I'm using. I can use a salad fork or a regular one, or any old spoon to deliver my food. I just rather want it to be clean, and I'm set.

My oldest boy is going through those rites of passage where these distinctions suddenly matter SO MUCH. For instance, we tend to give the wee ones a salad fork for their dinners. He's announced, he's big, he doesn't want a baby fork. Part of me wants to go "IT'S A SALAD FORK YOU CRETIN" but he's my little cretin and I should probably go easy and just teach him the difference, eh?

I'd be more likely to blow this off as "You are being ridiculous use the utensil I give you and be thankful it's not a spork" except that, I remember my own rites of passage - the things that were important to me. Everyone has those things, the things that MARK you as big vs. little.

When I was little, the STANDARD GROCERY STORE was just beyond a field behind my Grandma's house. The two little girls in the adjacent houses to my Grandma's, who played with me because they HAD to from what I can tell, were about 8 years older than me. Maybe six years. IT WAS A LOT AT THE TIME.

They were old enough, when I was not, to take their allowance and walk back to the Standard grocery story and buy candy. They would then stand back beyond where I was allowed to go, and eat their candy, in plain site. I could watch them walk away, and sit at the line of demarcation of my boundaries, waiting desperately for these two horrible little girls to return. Most of the time I'd end up running inside and sobbing, because they were laughing and eating candy just beyond where I could go.

My thing then, was that some day, I was going to be big enough to walk to Standard. I was going to walk there and I was going to get candy and I wasn't going to give them ANY. Every day I got older, I got closer to the day that I just knew my parents would say I was big enough.

Mark you, I was about 5 at the time.

Standard closed, before I was ever old enough for that satisfaction.

But I can promise you this, when I made his stuffed French Toast this morning, I made sure I gave my son a big fork.

Because some things matter more than any rational adult can ever understand.