18 (and rice-a-roni salad)
My boy turned eighteen Saturday. My little boy. Oh, alright. Just one photo from the good old days. This was the time he somehow got a hold of my biscuit cutter and maneuvered it over his knee and up his thigh. Of course, we thought it was so hilarious we committed child abuse and made him wait until we snapped a photo before we dislodged the cutter with some vegetable oil. I have a million photos and images in my mind of Noah growing up. I remember him climbing the stairs from the street to the house, crying while clutching a green construction paper medallion. He had been bad in first grade and green equaled a demerit. I remember when he “accidentally” cut off his hair and called me to pick him up because he was embarrassed to get on the school bus. We went immediately to the barber and he got his first buzz cut (oh, yes, he would actually do this again!).
Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of memories of the really good things he did, too. But the bad things are funnier and, as you know, funny goes a long way in our family.
So now he is turning 18 and he wants to have his friends over for supper. Of course. I love his friends. They’re all original thinkers. And they like my cooking. I come up with a menu I can make ahead. Grilled pork tenderloin. Roasted asparagus. Rice-A-Roni salad (Noah’s favorite). It is a fun evening. His friends like to talk to me. Maybe they’re just being nice because they’re getting fed. But I don’t think so.
So here he is with his friend, Briana. He’s a cutie pie, don’t you think? It occurs to me that he may not always be home for his birthday from now on. He’s off to college in the fall. He won’t be home for Halloween. He’ll meet friends and want to spend Thanksgiving with them. Surely he’ll be home for Christmas. Can you tell I’m not taking this whole growing up thing very well?
He hugs me after supper and thanks me. Then he and his friends are off to do other things. Teenage things. Independent…of mommy…things.
Thank you, sonny boy. The pleasure’s been all mine.
Rice A Roni Salad
1 box Fried Rice Rice A Roni
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
Prepare Rice A Roni per package instructions. Let cook completely.
Combine rice with green onions, carrots, olives, mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix thoroughly.
Chill for at least one hour before serving.