I’ve been writing recently about how my attitude towards entertaining has chilled out in the extreme these past few months. I’m sure I still have a fancy hors d’oeuvre recipe or two in me, but what I’ve discovered since removing virtually all of the fuss from my get-togethers with friends and neighbors is that that’s all it is: fuss. The point is to be with each other, and – especially when lots and lots of young children are involved – the easier we can make it to do that, the more we…do it.
Take the other night, for example: My neighbor Margo spontaneously invited us over to swim. I hesitated for a moment, because it was 4:30 PM, so not quite dinnertime, but also right in that sweet spot where I’d have to start making dinner soon or risk the kids being awake into the hour when Mom really needs to commence the bath-taking and watching of Handmaid’s Tale, which is – let’s be honest – unacceptable.
Except I wanted to see Margo. And the kids wanted to swim. So what did I do? Grabbed three Red Baron pizzas from my freezer and headed over. I let myself in the front door, preheated her stove, and then joined her in the backyard. And then, at the precise moment when every single child emerged from the pool demanding dinner, what did we have?
PIZZA FOR EVERYONE. THE ULTIMATE PARENT WIN.
(“This is such good pizza!” was overheard coming from more than one of the kids, wholly unsolicited by me. And if there’s one thing kids know about, it’s pizza.) Short story: my kids love Red Baron pizza (perrrrrfect crust, FYI, plus lots of variety in the topping options) —> Red Baron pizza calms mealtime chaos —> Red Baron pizza makes me happy.
It’s a small thing – the ability to just head over to a friend’s house, or invite a friend over, without any preparation whatsoever – but also not so small at all, because it’s something I didn’t used to do. Or at least something I didn’t used to do without making it way harder on myself than it had to be.
New life philosophy: Where you can simplify, do.
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