• Stuart Sheldon

Relationships = Bottles of Tabasco

photo by Jenny Kaczorowski from WANA Commons


We just finished bottle number two. Took us nearly ten years. Each drop another meal, another conversation, another spicy moment in the all-you-can-eat life buffet we opted to tackle together.

And we’re talking the big bottles … not the little skinny ones you find in virtually any restaurant anywhere. BTW – I’m convinced Tabasco sauce is the single most successful product on earth, and the Mcilhennys who make it in Avery Island, Louisiana are the richest family alive.

At dinner these days, we go around the table and do “Best & Worst,” where all four of us report on the high and low point of our day. Yesterday, when I asked Kai his “worst,” he said simply, “cake.” That’s right, he did not like the cake they served at school for someone’s b-day. I want to live in a world where the nadir of my reality is cake!

Kai’s “best” was a playdate at our home with his BFF, with whom he tends to run amok like a feral beast, often at the expense of 3-yr-old Bodhi, on whom they both gang up. Not surprisingly, Kai’s playdate was the worst of Jodi’s day. Five year old boys don’t do chill which is what Jodi was after following the high-point of her day, a spinning class in which she got into some crazy endorphin ecstasy zone.

Stuart Sheldon, Honky Tonk Angel, Acrylic, oil pastel, cardboard, paper on canvas w original poetry, 36″x36″, 2006


My low point thus far today was writing the electrician a $290 check for an outlet I just learned my house had to have. My high point was walking out, freshly showered, shaved and dressed for work, to find Jodi on the soft couch helping Kai with one of his beginner reading books. There sat my little mop-headed monkey literally sounding out each letter … Cuh-Aaaa-Tuh … and then figuring how they blended into cat. It’s amazing to watch a little human brain grasp something so vital in real time.

And there is Jodi, snuggled around him, coaching and cheering him. Doing the work. The labors of love. Being the in-the-trenches rockstar mom she is. Shaking yet another couple drops of Tabasco into the soup we call life.

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#parenting #devotion #children #mcilhennyfamily #father #love #stuartsheldon #Averyisland #spice #Louisiana #Tabasco #ALonelyFoolsMasterpiece

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©2020 Stuart Sheldon.