After wisely bypassing the menu item called “American Fried Rice” at our Bangkok hotel several times, my husband finally gave in to curiosity and ordered it, and we got a glimpse into the secret world of how Thais imagine Americans: a cheerful sunny side up egg topped a mound of fried rice, ringed by two hot dogs, a fried chicken leg, tomato slices, and a piece of deli ham. I have to commend them: that is America on a plate.
I have two nearly grown boys. They’ve reached that age when they’d rather Skype with friends while gaming than join us out for dinner. Leave the house, boys. Live real life. But the thing is, that is real life to them.
With the occasion of Mother’s Day, though, I easily coaxed them to come along. We hung around at home most of the day, each doing our own thing, and then we headed out for a late brunch at an inn.
The carving station: I think about how I slice up the weeks, time for tennis matches, homework help, rides to friends, dinner from scratch, orthodontist appointments, frozen pizza, all a jumble of laughter, bickering, and chores.
The pasta station: It’s freshly warmed to let the sauce sink in, like hugs and kisses, high fives and fist bumps, texts and emails, pride in each new change.
The vegetable medley: Put some veggies on your plate; I guide them to make the right choices.
The bitter greens: Nostalgia that my little boys are gone mixes in with everything else.
The sweets table: I realize with joy that they’re becoming their own people, confident young men.
Brunch: that is motherhood on a plate.