Monday, May 23, 2011

The Kitchen Madonna

I remember many times, sneaking into the kitchen, maneuvering my way around my mother to avoid being seen, and quietly trying to snatch a freshly baked cookie from the counter.  However, as the saying goes, Moms tend to have eyes in the back of their head, and my mother was no different.  So anxiously, me and my sisters would wait while she continued transferring the cookies from the pan to the plate, praying against all odds that maybe at least one would break and would therefore be passed off to the drooling mouths that awaited it. 

After dinner, my sisters and I would be dubbed "Clean-up Duty" and we would all choose a particular task, as my parents would go off together to watch the News, or just catch up after a long day.  These are special memories for me, because, being the typical girls we were, "cleaning up" was never just "cleaning up".  It was a chance for conversation, joking, dancing, (including many times when the big band music would play, and we would all take turns swing dancing with our "Mr. Broom.")  The Kitchen was more than just another room of our house...it was a central place for gathering, connecting and conversing. 

Now a wife and mother myself, I have come to realize just how "dear" the Kitchen has become.  More often than not, that is the room I am found most often in.  Cooking, cleaning up, preparing a meal, cleaning up, baking, cleaning up....and as my little Lilybug continues to grow, I become anxious and excited about the upcoming years where together, we will sit at that Kitchen table, and pour over school books, activities, coloring pages, or other such activities.  The Kitchen is more than just a place to cook.  It's a place for a family to bond.  Meal time is more than just eating at a table.  It's a time for the family to connect and share.  And not only that, but to grow together.

So if the mother of the house is more often than not, found in the Kitchen, why not also invite the Ultimate Mother of all?  The Virgin Mother?  Our Kitchen Madonna?  It has been a mission of mine to find this beloved statue, and unfortunately I have remained unsuccessful in finding a suitable one.  But when I finally have, I will take this Queen of the Kitchen, and place her in my kitchen, and remember that no matter how crazy life may become, no matter how stressful I may be...no matter how messy my kitchen may appear; every time I stand in my Kitchen and gaze at my Mother, I will remember I am standing exactly where my family needs me to be.  Mary, Madonna of the Kitchen, help me fulfill all my duties with love and humility!

Lord of All Pots and Pans!

Lord of all pots and pans and things
Since I've no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things or
Watching late with Thee,
Or dreaming in the twilight of
Storming heaven's gates;
Make me a saint by getting meals or
Washing up the plates.

Although I must have Martha's hands
I have Mary's mind, and
While I black the boots and shoes
Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth
Each time I scrub the floor,
Accept this meditation, Lord,
I havent' time for more.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,
And light it with Thy peace,
Forgive me all my worrying
And make all grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food
In room or by the sea
Accept this service that I do
I do it unto Thee.
-Anonymous

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