My husband loves to eat. He loves to eat almost as much as he loves his wife and children, I think.
When he is home, he does not demand full course gourmet meals, but the crestfallen look on his face when I announce that it is a Hamburger Helper night steers me toward a steady production of Greek Chicken, Enchiladas, Peppered Roast with carrots and potatoes, and the like.
When hubby deploys, however, things change.
During deployments, Kraft macaroni and cheese becomes my best friend. When I want to add some flair, I make crumbled bacon to mix into it. Hamburger Helper is a regular household visitor. We've had hot dogs twice this week already.
And just to solidify my Mother of the Year Award... last night I was too tired to make dinner, so I threw some cheese on whole wheat Tostito chips and microwaved my kids some nachos. Hey, they were WHOLE WHEAT chips! I'm nothing if not health conscious.
I mentioned this to hubby this morning when we managed to meet up on GoogleTalk. It is utterly beyond his comprehension that the home-cooked meals slow to a trickle when he is not home. Not that it bothers him one way or another; although, actually, he might like the thought that we aren't digging into a from-scratch fajita platter with wild rice on the side while he's gone. It's a sign that our family isn't "just fine" and "perfect" without him.
And really, we're not. My children appreciate Mac 'n Cheese as much as they appreciate home-made potato soup. The extra work isn't necessary to fill their tummies. But I also just don't have the time to spend two hours watching a simmering pot like a hawk without another adult to pull some of the household duties.
My children have picked up on the deal, even my son. After a day of running around in circles trying to cut through the red tape on military matters, mail CARE packages, homeschooling four children, dealing with my Mother-in-Law's dementia issues, walking the dog, and all the other activities that come up (and seem to pop up with even more regularity during a deployment); my children no longer ask me "what" is for dinner. They ask, "Is it another Chef Boyardee night?"
Just a few more months until Daddy gets home and we can ditch the Noodle-Roni. Then I think we ALL deserve a grilled steak and baked potato night!