The power of pie

By Mir
December 3, 2005

My plan was to embark on the next installment of How Can I Screw My Hair Up NOW? tonight, with a whole new attempt at coloring it without turning myself into Elvira, but I am too tired. I’m sure it will make a fascinating tale when I get around to it. I don’t want to give TOO much away, but it will involve some fairly non-standard equipment, which will no doubt cause even greater misadventure than normal. What can I say; I’m a very slow learner.

Instead I filled myself to the brim with leftover Chinese food and put on my jammies, and I’m now sitting in bed with my laptop and trying to stay awake. I am a party animal, I tell you. Woo!

Actually, I’m happy to have a night to just… be. Just digest things a bit. I have been doing a lot of eating the last few days.

My parents are all very independent people. I have my mom, my dad, and my stepmom (“your other mom” as my kids say), and they all live in a different state. Well, they all live in the same state–actually the same town–as each other, but a different state from ME. They all do their own thing and don’t require much from me beyond regular reports on the kids’ antics and occasional assurances that I’m more or less taking care of myself.

Well. Thursday my father called me to say he was on his way here. Sort of unexpected. Sort of a long story. Not really my story to tell, actually. Short version: My stepmom has been ill, they were headed this way for treatment unavailable to them locally. I was not having such a fantabulous day, myself, on Thursday, so I would by lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit stressed out about it. To be fair, I was also stressed out about work, and the kids, and random dust motes, and starving children in third world countries, and a bunch of other stuff.

So late on Thursday night my dad arrived, stressed out and tired and needing support. Support which I dearly wanted to give, but didn’t know if I could figure out or if it would even help if I did.

We sat and talked for a while, and I got him a beer and some chips and cracked what were probably inappropriate jokes. When I am sad and want to help and don’t know how I talk about five times as much as normal, which–as I’m sure you might imagine–has got to be just painful for whoever is subjected to my “assistance.” I suspect he decided to head to bed in hopes of preserving what was left of his eardrums.

Friday morning the kids “helped wake up Grandpa” and after I returned from getting them off to school, I sent Dad back to bed. I worked all morning and he slept. We both felt better by noonish, and decided to run over to the grocery store to pick up some sushi for lunch. On our way to the register I spied a display of nuts, and decided to make another pecan pie.

My dad loves pecan pie.

We ate our sushi and I whipped up the pie and we checked in with my stepmom and before we knew it, it was time to fetch the kids. The evening passed quickly, with the kids bouncing off the walls and providing plenty of distraction for us. Dinner was lots of chinese food (as has become our custom during visits) and much hilarity with the fortune cookies. It turns out that the statements in the cookies are much more profound if you’re 5. Or 7.

After the kids went to bed, Dad and I sat in the family room surrounded by legos and piles of books and ate some pie.

Today I slept in while the kids indoctrinated my father in the ways of Sponge Bob. When I came downstairs, the three of them were curled up on the couch together imitating Sponge Bob’s incredibly annoying laugh.

After a slow start in getting everyone fed and dressed, the kids made get well cards for Grandma. Well, Chickadee made her a card. Monkey made her… a fan! (In case she has the vapors, Dad said. Monkey told me later that it’s for her to fan herself if she’s too hot from having a fever.) Then we headed out to our church’s holiday fair for a bit, where the children wanted to buy one of everything they saw. Chickadee had wanted to get Monkey one of those rubber imitation Livestrong bracelets for Christmas, because she’d ripped one he used to have. It cost $1. But she was indignant that I wouldn’t buy it for her to give to him. Use her own allowance? But… but… then she’d be out AN ENTIRE DOLLAR!! Monkey wanted… a doll quilt. He was even willing to use his allowance for it. He couldn’t tell me what he’d use it for, just that he needed it. I vetoed the purchase and he went crying to Grandpa.

We placated my horribly deprived children with lunch, and bought a dozen scones to take home.

My family understands the important things in life. Never let it be said that we are thrown off course by challenging times. To wit: On the way back to the car, we had the following conversation.

Chickadee: So you got 9 raspberry, and 3 blueberry?
Me: Yep.
Chickadee: Can I have one when we get home?
Me: Maybe in a little while.
Chickadee: I want a raspberry one.
Me: You said you wanted blueberry. I bought the blueberry for you.
Chickadee: Oh. Okay.
Me: What kind do YOU want, Grandpa?
Dad: I don’t want a scone. I’m going to have more pie.
Chickadee: I’m gonna have blueberry. What kind are YOU going to have, Mama?
Me: I like the raspberry.
Monkey: I want a chocolate donut.
*crickets chirp as the rest of us ponder this*
Me: Ummmmm… we have scones, and pie. No donuts.
Monkey: But I like donuts.
Dad: You should blog that.

Back home, the children ran off to play. Dad and I had more pie, and talked until it was time for him to go back and be with my stepmom. He packed up his stuff, the cards from the kids, and their recent school pictures. I packed up the rest of the pie for him to take. Maybe he’ll be able to tempt my stepmom into eating some.

Before my dad left, he thanked me “for everything.” I didn’t do much. The pie is pretty easy to make. Seems to have some healing power, though. I certainly hope so, since I plan to bake another one for my stepmom when she’s better and home and realizes I wrote about this. She doesn’t want to be any trouble to anyone, you see. And LO how I have TRIED to just stop loving people when they are occasionally IN NEED, what with the INCONVENIENCE, but I have yet to perfect this talent. Oh well. So I guess she’s stuck with me.

You too, Dad.


  1. Mom

    Good job as usual, Mim. I’m sure you were very comforting to Dad and that will, in turn, be comforting to stepmom. There is no better medicine on earth for Dad than pecan pie.


    P.S. I like to think that I’m stuck with you too. :P

  2. buffi

    What a blessing to be able to be there for your dad. I’m sure it is comforting to you both. I will keep him and your stepmom in my prayers, Mir.

    Your chocolate donut conversation with Monkey reminds me of every conversation I have had with Bear lately. Things that make you go “Huh?!”

  3. Lisa (in California)

    Beautiful Mirism “And LO how I have TRIED to just stop loving people when they are occasionally IN NEED, what with the INCONVENIENCE, but I have yet to perfect this talent. Oh well.”

    That makes my heart swell. As does a nice peice of pecan pie.


  4. Carol

    After having a serious heart-to-heart with my own step parent this past weekend, I think I can say with confidence that what you just wrote will mean more to your step-mother than you’ll ever realize. I do hope that she gets to read it :)

    Your Dad sounds like a warm soul. I’m so glad to hear that you are so close with him and that he has relied on you to help him through this rough time.

    Great entry, as always :)

  5. Chookooloonks

    Sounds like you guys are getting through it. Good for you.

    I’m off to send you good vibes. Oh, and dream of pie.

  6. alektra

    I don’t know why it makes perfect sense to me, but Monkey’s love of donut declaration didn’t cause me to go “huh?” but more, sorry, dude. No donuts.

    Maybe I need to get more in touch with my inner adult.

    I’m really glad your dad has you and the kids right now. Your “other mom” is in my prayers.

  7. DebR

    I loved the story of family and pie. But I want to hear more about your hair. :-)

    PS…my new favorite game at your blog is to look at the yahoo ad FIRST, see what they’re trying to sell, and try to guess from that what you might be posting about. So far I’m pretty much always wrong, but I keep trying!

  8. Heather

    I’ve found that it’s easy to amuse myself with fortune cookies, but I need to “adapt” them a bit. I always read them, adding “between the sheets” in my head. Oftentimes that’s enough to make me laugh.

    One time, however, I made the mistake of telling my in-laws why I was laughing at my cookie. They all proceeded to try my theory. Imagine my embarrassment (and my mother-in-law’s too!) when my father-in-law had “A stick will become a sliver with constant friction – between the sheets.” He read that out loud before he caught it…..

  9. kris

    Sometimes the simplest of gestures go the farthest, don’t they?

  10. Angela

    Mir – Blessings, love and prayers for your “other” mom as well as all of your family. You are, quite simply, superb and amazing.

    I think that you should have a contest of some sort and send the winner a pecan pie. (But only if I get to be the winner).
    Damn. That was random.

  11. Jenn2

    I think that the simple act of being there and distracting from the weight of a loved ones illness is support in and of itself. Oh what an unwieldy sentence I hath wrought!

    When my dad came to me with his diagnosis of ALS, I was too shocked to cry. We did what we do best. Make completely inappropriate jokes and drank a couple of Gin and Tonics. I think that helped us both cope with the news. Pecan Pie would have been nice too. mmmm Pie.

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