Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I must have been five or six years old at the time this happened.


I walked into the kitchen and smelled the most hated food on the planet. Cabbage. The smell made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t eat it; I couldn’t eat dinner at all. My sister thought I was faking and told Mom—and anyone else who would listen—that I should be made to eat cabbage. She said that just the smell of something couldn’t make me sick.

Mom listened politely but she had different ideas. She set a card table and chair for me on the back porch by the big chest freezer. She filled my plate with all the food everyone else was eating except for the cabbage and then she brought the plate of food out to me. I sat with my arms folded while I heard someone say the blessing in the kitchen.

"Amen," I said and as soon as everyone else said "amen" my sister started again. “You are spoiling her," she said.

Was I spoiled like food left too long in the fridge? I looked at my arms and hands and fingers. I wasn’t moldy. I shrugged and ate my dinner. Listening to the hum of the freezer was pleasant and I liked eating alone on the porch.

Every time Mom fixed cabbage she listened to my sister tell her she was spoiling me and every time she ignored my sister and let me eat on the back porch, where I knew I would have the freezer humming for company. I decided being spoiled meant that my mom believed me, loved me, and made things special for me. I was lucky to be spoiled.

PS I love cooked cabbage now and I love my sister, too, much, much more than cabbage.


Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I can't eat cabbage either. Cooked or raw, I don't like it.

Jessica said...

What a good Mama. I whole-heartedly believe in spoiling kids like that. If my child is spoiled because he or she gets too many hugs and kisses or is held too much or loved too much, so be it!

Thanks for that story. And I'm glad you forgave your sister.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

cabbage for supper here tonight... my daughter says momma that stinks but I know it will taste so good LOL... I have been known to do thinks like seperate dinners for the spoiled children :)

Shawn said...

EEEWWWW, this brings back bad memories about sauerkraut. I couldn't stand it---and my Mom kept a can of it in the cupboard for YEARS to threaten us with.

To this day, I can't stand the smell---so I hear ya, girl....

Annette said...

You bring those images to life! I like your mom.

I wish I could have come on Tuesday. I had several different messes going on at the same time, all with a deadline.

Tierney said...

I LOVE your mom. What a sweet and understanding mama. What a bossy sister! I will learn a lesson from your mom. What a nicely written story!

Grandma Tii said...

I understand that we will be eating a ton of cabbage in Russia...so I guess I better like it, which I do....however we had Borshe the other day...and....talk about gas....I'll say no more!

Bonnie said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Mom. Everybody should have a mom like that--whose actions show that she listens and loves you by doing just the right thing at the right time. What good writing too--combining the smell of cooking cabbage with such a simple act of love--good imagery. I can smell the cabbage right now and yet I have such a warm feeling in my heart by what you wrote.