Momma's Cooking Club

I hear the garage door open, he is home.  He is a few minutes late, but bless his heart, he is home.  He heads up the stairs, and I literally give him a kiss and a high five. I tell him dinner is in the fridge and our youngest has been a bit crabby and might need some extra cuddles; I then triumphantly head down the stairs carrying my pan of Thai salmon. 

It is Cooking Club night.  Praise the Lord it is Cooking Club night.

The second Tuesday of the month is a night out with my mom tribe.  We all come together at one of our homes dressed up or dressed down with something homemade or something picked up and we share a meal together.

We are in our third year of Cooking Club.  We all met in a small group at church.  We were all married and a few of us had littles.  After a few years gathering as a couples’ group, my good friend decided us girls needed some time to connect beyond couples’ time.  This is how our Cooking Club was born.  It was something we all desperately wanted and needed.  In our three years together we have gone from three babies to twelve.  Twelve, with at least one more on the way.  One could say we are in the baby making season of life.  In this season, more than ever before, we need each other and we need Cooking Club.

I drive over to my dear friend’s house, listening to a podcast and feeling a bit of freedom and excitement for the night.  I walk in and hear my girlfriends chatting and chopping away in the kitchen.  After some catching up and throwing my salmon in the oven, I pull up a stool and take it all in.  The yummy smelling mushrooms sautéing on the stovetop, my friend’s newborn baby asleep on her chest, the chattering of these women I love; connecting and loving one another.  Loving one another well. 

At Cooking Club there are no expectations except to show up when you can, and bring a dish to share.  No one expects Top Chef style cooking (although if you are on that level, let me know and you can join us) or fancy table settings or the perfect ambience.  Sometimes a dish turns out to be a Pinterest fail, sometimes one of us gets an SOS text from dad to hurry home, sometimes there is literally a crying baby in the bedroom next to the kitchen.  Those interruptions are all a part of this season and we all relate and none of it matters.  We are there simply to be together…as women, as moms.

The dishes are all smelling ready, so we put them on the long, worn, wooden table along with our glasses and we each find a seat.  This is a magical time.  Sitting at the table with my people, my mom tribe.  We talk about one mom’s struggle to get more than two hours of sleep at night and why we should or shouldn’t wax and what in the world Kelly was thinking when Michael walked away.  We talk about vacations and our kids and what we are reading.  We talk about how much grace we receive every single day.  We are doing life together, at this table, at Cooking Club.

As we sit across the table, we know each other, we listen to each other, we are heard and understood; we are real with one another.  Sometimes as a mom, all I want is to be seen and heard.  At Cooking Club, I feel seen and heard and known and don’t feel the need to hide anything.  One night there may be a mom who is going through troubles and needs to vent and to be heard and seen…it may be all we talk about.  On other nights we all are sharing and listening as the conversation bounces around the table like a ping pong ball.  Each month is different and unique as we are all going through our seasons of motherhood.

After our bellies hurt from all the food and laughs we had, we clean up the kitchen, say our good-byes and head home.  I journey home with a smile on my face and a full heart; I find my journey home at least as triumphant as my first escape. I might be a few minutes late, but I arrive home as a better me.

The funny thing about my tribe is that we are all doing this mom thing differently.  One mom is staying home, loves Aldi’s and took her ten month old to London last year, another mom is running a hair salon and is a hands-on mom, and yet another is managing a heart condition all while raising two incredible babies at home.  We are all oh so different, but we have something bigger in common than if we work or stay at home, if we eat organic or processed mac and cheese…we are moms trying to love and raise our babies the best we know how.  And, lucky for me, I get to raise my babies with these women, my tribe, side by side.

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