Are You Cooking Tonight?

My daughter texted me last night while she was out and about with friends. She was weighing her options. She wanted to know if she should ditch her friends early to come home in time for dinner with the family.

My phone let out a cheery little ding to let me know a text had come in, and a little white word bubble appeared on my home screen.

“Are you cooking tonight?” it read.

“Are you cooking tonight?” I repeated aloud, indignantly. What a question! “What does she mean, ‘Am I cooking tonight?'” I asked myself. “Of course, I’m cooking tonight! What kind of mother does she think I am?” I felt like I did that time I got pulled over for speeding and the officer asked me if I’d been drinking. Well! I never! (I had most certainly NOT been drinking, thank you very much. I was simply reaching for my GPS that had fallen on the floorboard, which would have been perfectly understandable, except the speed limit had apparently dropped by 15 mph while I was otherwise occupied.)

I reread the words in the white bubble on my phone screen.

Are you cooking tonight?

Wait a minute . . .

I sat up straighter on the couch and lowered my feet to the floor.

Am I cooking tonight?

There was a moment of indecision while a couple of my heartbeats tripped over themselves, but then I smiled and sank back on the couch with relief. All was well because I remembered. I had nothing to worry about because I had actually planned menus for the week, and even thawed ground beef before going to work, and spaghetti was already on the agenda – so, even though I was worn out from a busy day at work and was indulging in a few minutes of rest on the couch with my feet up when she texted me, I could confidently say I would, in fact, be “cooking tonight.”

Now I don’t blame my daughter. She was only going from past experience. History has taught her that anything from homemade beef and noodles to frozen pizza to cold cereal could be the featured special on any given night, so she’d better check in before changing any plans. So she really cannot be blamed for her (otherwise insolent) question last night. She was not privy to my inner knowledge that I was, in fact, fully prepared to cook a real meal for my family.

Let’s face it, I hadn’t been sure of that myself until she texted me.

But once in a while I surprise us all by being prepared and on top of things.

And to all you unbelievers out there – not only did I cook last night, we even ate our spaghetti in candlelight with Beethoven playing in the background. (While it’s true the candles were only lit because our dining room light is currently out of order again, the effect was appealing nonetheless.)

I may not always cook, but when I do, I do it in style.

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