It happens to us all. Sooner or later, we become our parents. The metamorphosis usually doesn't happen overnight; it occurs over time. I see more and more of my dad in me every year. Friday night, another piece fell into place.
Meg had a going-away party Friday night for a friend who was leaving for California Saturday morning. There were about 15 kids, all 14- and 15-year-olds. (Sara was in the middle of the party most of the night, and loving it.) Each person was responsible for bringing some kind of snack food. At around 10 PM, the party ended at our house and was to be resumed (by the girls only) at Starbucks for another hour. As everyone stood at or near the door in our foyer, all the girls were sobbing, already missing their friend. Of course, all the guys stood around with this "um, what's going on/what do I do" look on their faces. So the bride stuffs 8 girls in the van and whisks them off to Starbucks. I went upstairs to assess the damage in the bonus room, then started cleaning up. As I began cleaning, I noticed the snacks. They were snacks that we don't usually keep in the pantry, especially when we're trying to stay away from snacks. White cheddar popcorn; peanut butter M&M's; Doritos; cheddar Chex mix; barbecued baked Lays. So I'd take down a streamer, then eat some M&M's; put a plate in the trash, grab a handful of Chex mix; pick some frosting up off the floor, eat a cookie. This went on for about 20 minutes. I gathered up all the leftover food and took it downstairs to the kitchen. I intended to bag everything up, put it in the pantry, and leave it there. But I continued to snack as I closed up the bags. And I ate more on Saturday and Sunday. I ate so much that I made myself sick Friday night. I ate so much that I wasn't hungry for breakfast Saturday morning. I ate so much that my pants feel snug this morning, over 48 hours later.
How does this make me more like my dad? Whenever any of us kids go home, Mom stocks the pantry with stuff that they don't normally eat. And she fixes food that they don't normally eat. So whenever his kids are home, not only is he happy to be with them, but he knows he'll get to eat the foods that he loves to eat but doesn't normally get to eat.
Meg's friend called from California last night, and she seems to be doing well. Everyone had a great time at the party, all the kids were very well-behaved. And if they promise to bring more wonderful snack foods, they're welcome in our house anytime.....