Saturday morning I stumbled into our kitchen at 9 am, having slept off a two-glass-of-wine evening at a super fun 50th birthday party for a friend of ours. (And yes, 2 glasses of wine is plenty of party for me nowadays).
I walked in to find Zach and his friend sitting at the counter. I had forgotten Zach had a friend sleep overnight, so here I had forced them to fend for themselves for breakfast. I wasn't feeling like a great hostess or mother.
As I fumbled around the cupboards and fridge for my favorite coffee cup and flavored creamer... I saw something weird. At first, I chalked up my confusion to the two glasses of wine (They were large glasses)...
It was a small bowl with water that had something floating in it. It looked like a Cheerio and a Lucky Charms marshmallow that had bloated up after spending an overnight in water.
It was gross. And I thought to myself... why. Why do my children do this stuff? Why do they experiment with food and leave it sitting around in an unnatural state to grow, and bloat, and mold around my kitchen which was remodeled 5 years ago to look exactly the way I wanted? My beautiful honey-stained maple? My brushed stainless steel appliances? My Kelly Ripa Electrolux oven which makes cooking a breeze?
Why I am staring at cereal... wait no. Two pieces of cereal in a small bowl of water on my countertop dedicated to mail, bills, and school papers?
Me: What is this?
I stare down at the little bowl... holding it only with my index fingers and thumbs. If it is toxic, I don't want to get it on me.
Me: What is this? What is this? What is this?
The cadence seems to help me from potentially losing my mind.
Zach: What? What are you looking at?
Me: What is this!
More boys take notice and gather in the kitchen. I am surrounded by four - Zach, Zayd and Ethan... and Zach's friend.
Everyone peers into the bowl - cautiously.
Zach: Ew. Looks like something Ethan did.
Ethan: I didn't do that! I didn't! I promise!
Paul walks into the kitchen.
Paul: What's going on?
Me: What is this?
Paul: What's what?
Me: What is this? This! THIS!
Paul: Oh! That's Evan's. It's for you!
Is he trying to make me yell?
Paul: It's a diamond ring. He got it from his piano teacher last night. You know... you put one of those little small cubes in water and it grows into something? It's a diamond ring. He is making it for you.
My anger starts to melt... And now the ring comes into focus... indeed the Cheerio and the Lucky Charms marshmallow are connected.
Paul: What did you think it was?
Me: One of Evan's weird food experiments.
Tangent: Evan is well known in our home for his food experiments. Weird concoctions of things that shouldn't be eaten together. For example one day I found shredded carrots with Kraft Cheese Slices cut into squares along with cereal in a bowl. There was a sauce too... And it was all fossilized together. I think I had to throw the bowl away.
He blends things into liquid too - I'm not even going to get into those...
But this wasn't a food experiment. It was a gift for me. A ring.
I walked into the sunroom to join Paul and have my cup of coffee. Ethan carried the bowl behind me to examine it more closely at the kitchen table.
Me: Well... that's kinda cute then.
Paul: Yeah... it's pretty impressive - it's supposed to grow to more than 500 times it's original size!
That's what she said.
Paul: Oh. And he fully expects you to wear it.
Today is Sunday - my diamond ring is still growing in the bowl. It doesn't look like a ring so much anymore. It has reverted back to bloated cereal pieces. Evan has either forgotten about it...
Wants to wait until it grows into an even bigger diamond ring...
just for me.