I tried to teach my son a life lesson but I realized that it was meant for me.
Pumpkin pie is naked without the whipped cream. For Thanksgiving, we wanted the perfect pie, so I taught my son how to make whipping cream. It was a cool father-son moment. I explained the process to him and showed him how you simply need whipping cream, a bowl and a mixer. I described the process and threw in a life lesson. I said, “You have persist and you will see little results until the very end.” “It takes faith,” I said, “you have to trust even though nothing is happening.”
I was being profound and I was probably full of crap. He was bored and he moaned. Then he arched his back and leaned on the cupboard next to the bowl. He complained loudly that nothing was happening and that I needed to take over because he was doing it wrong. I didn’t take over, but I wanted to nuke him.
Teenagers can make 10 minutes feel like torture. I understood what Moses must have felt like. He comes off the mountain excited about the first edition of the Ten Commandments. What do the people do? They complain about how much their backs hurt, how he was gone too long and how he really doesn’t care about them. He didn’t know about nukes, but he probably wanted to do that too.
Making whipped cream is a mess. No matter how clean you try to be, you have to accept the splatter. That is the part about whipping cream that I like, because I make messes everywhere I go. It’s my way of making other people’s lives more interesting. I like to leave samples of my work all over the place to brighten other people’s day or to remind me to get back to it when I am ready.
There is a point when you are blending that you hate it. It’s a pain. You have to beat the heck out of the cream if you expect it to foam up. You have to create a lot of waves, otherwise you will just have cream. Important things create waves. I don’t like it, but getting beat around by life probably means that you are making progress.
The great think about whipping cream is that even when it is perfect, it is incomplete. That is because whipping cream is meant to compliment something else: pie, cake or baking. You and I are like that. We can get along by our selves for a while, but most times we work best when we are with other people. It can be frustrating, messy and a pain to work with, to love, and to be with other people but it is supposed to be that way.
I tried to create a profound lesson for my son but he wasn’t ready for it. The lessons were probably more for me. I like it when life works my way. But most times it is messy and beats us around for a while. I don’t like that part, but I like to remind my kids to persist. I’m not very patient, I get anxious and neurotic. My brain talks to me and tells me that something is wrong and I want to nuke my life. Settling down and keeping at it is hard.
Pumpkin pie is naked without whipped cream. They compliment each other. My family and friends compliment me. They can be a pain sometimes, and so am I. Life seems to get harder and I think it’s because things matter. If we didn’t care, it would be easy.
This year, I need a Thankskeeping!
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Photo courtesy of A2gemma