Yesterday my biggest boy, Andrew turned 12.
Are you kidding me?
In my head Andrew is still like this…
But now he’s like this…
I take comfort in the fact that he still likes Legos.
And chocolate cupcakes.
And like any other twelve year old kid, Andrew has 3 favorite food groups: cheeseburgers, pizza, and tacos.
Oh yeah. Tacos.
My kid is a taco purist- he’s a meat, lettuce, cheese kinda guy. Truth be told he’d probably be happiest with a humongo stack of Taco Bell soft tacos, mystery meat and all. And if we’re being totally honest here, who doesn’t like a bag full of Taco Bell junky food happy every now and again?
But when we make tacos at home I sneak in extra vegetables. And well-seasoned black beans. Shredded spicy chicken. And rice.
When Andrew was smaller he objected to my little taco tweaks here and there. He notices when I add cilantro. Or season the chicken with just a smidge of extra cumin. When he was little bitty he liked things HOT – I’m talkin’ lotsa jalapenos, seeds and all. Somewhere along the way his taste buds have mellowed.
And so has he.
My itsy bitsy boy, the one that never let me set him down for the first 6 months of his life, the boy that was a little high maintenance there for awhile, my cutie pie that loves to have the last word on everything, has turned into something of a cool kind of fella. Perhaps it’s just the calm before the teenage storm.
I like to think that maybe in our 12 years together we’ve just settled into a chill sort of groove. Not that tempers don’t flare from time to time because I have a short fuse and Andrew is… well he’s twelve. But we seem to have reached a sort of mutual understanding about each other and the world around us. Sometime in there my kid decided to relax a little bit. And he got sort of grown up.
Andrew still notices when I spruce up one of his three food groups, but he doesn’t object anymore when I layer his tacos with rice.
Spanish Rice (modified from Main St. Cuisine)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, diced
1/2 a green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of basmati rice
1/2 cup your favorite salsa
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups of chicken broth
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium high heat until they’ve begun to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Stir in the rice and toast it for about two minutes. Stir in the salsa and turmeric, and then pour in the chicken broth. Stir well, bring to a boil, and then drop the heat down and put a lid on the skillet. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed, and fluff with a fork before serving.
No worries– Andrew will get a great big chocolate birthday cake this weekend when we have our birthday party with family (with a cake post to follow soon after!). His menu choice for birthday dinner?