Lisa's Lines

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand

When your child invites the neighborhood over for brunch, you have two options.

You could refuse. Crush her plans and have her renege the already delivered invitations.

Or... Just go with it.

Last Saturday morning, my house was filled with friends and neighbors.

Having the brunch inside was not the plan, but the morning proved too cool to hold the event in the garage and / or on the driveway. So, we cleaned and set up tables and rearranged a few things to make room indoors.

Anna, my almost-9-year-old and hostess with the mostest, was thrilled. She loves a good party, and planning and preparing for it with friends was even better than the six pounds of bacon we cooked.

The event planning started about a month ago (unbeknownst to parents). Anna and her friends, Karolyn and Lauren, came up with the idea to host a brunch while on their one-hour-long bus ride home from school. By the time Anna told me about the plan, the three girls already brainstormed a meal plan and a list of people to invite.

They also had chosen a site -- my house.

First, I cringed, just thinking about all the work that goes into serving a brunch for 20+ people. Then, I channeled all my mom strength and kindly asked Anna to tell me about her plans and why she wanted to host a brunch.

"I want to get everyone together, so everyone can have fun and get to know each other better," she spouted with big, puppy-dog pleading eyes.

I talked to her about how much work goes into hosting a crowd and serving food... but she wasn't deterred.

"Mom! My friends and I will make everything, and we'll clean up! We can do it!" she assured me. I hesitated momentarily, then told her she may go ahead with her plans as long as Daddy agrees to it.

Daddy (who has a hard time saying no to either daughter) agreed, and for the next few weeks we heard a lot about the brunch plan.... Who was going to make the pancakes? Who can make bacon? What about egg bakes? Of course there should be fudge and cupcakes.

The three friends hashed out all the details. (Thankfully, their moms helped purchase the groceries and guide the cooking and baking.)

The night before the big brunch, Karolyn spent the night and Lauren and her sister came over to help get everything ready. They worked hard, making everything from egg bake to welcome signs. They planned the table arrangements and thought through the buffet layout. When everything was ready to go, they settled in for a movie and popcorn.

The next morning, they were up at 6 a.m., asking to start frying the bacon. Timing a meal is a learned skill, and after I explained to them the process of figuring out when to start baking / cooking something, the third graders in my kitchen got to work, planning out the bake times for all the hot foods.

Finally, guests started to arrive at 9:30 a.m., just as the egg bake was coming out of the oven. The girls were bursting with excitement as they welcomed everyone.

The food was delicious, and it was fun visiting with the neighbors. It was also fun watching the girls fuss about the platter of pancakes, hoping they had enough.

During clean up, the trio of third graders started talking about hosting another event—at my house. I calmly recommended that maybe the other parents would like to host their next event… to which Anna responded: “They would say, ‘No!’”

Her friends agreed.

As I watched the girls giggling at the kitchen sink, up to their elbows in soapy water, all I could think of was how happy I am that my husband and I said “yes” to three girls’ crazy wonderful idea.

*****

Mother’s Day has come and gone, but I want to share a little giggle with you.

On Mother’s Day morning, I told my family that I wanted to go out and hunt for morel mushrooms in a nearby woods. Dutifully, my two daughters and my husband dressed in their grubby clothes and mud boots and trudged into the woods with me.

After about 10 minutes of searching and no morels in our bag, 6-year-old Ellen started to complain.

“Moooooommmmmm, can we go back now?” she whined.

I told her to keep looking and try to enjoy our walk in the woods. I also reminded her that it was Mother’s Day and that her mother wanted to find morels.

She stomped along for a few more minutes, obviously frustrated.

Then, she stopped.

“Mom, I’ve lost the Mother’s Day spirit! I’m going home!” she announced, then spun around and marched home.

Her big sister followed.

Mother’s Day 2018 lasted all of two hours—and was mushroom-less.

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