Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Magical Burrito of Freedom. Or Something Like That.

A long time ago, back when Mr. AP and I were in college (and if I'm being really honest, for many months after we had both graduated and perhaps even well into our marriage), there were these burritos. 

Not just any burritos but these burritos that we would buy wholesale from Costco, ones that you would pop into the microwave and slather with hot sauce and sour cream and they quickly translated into tiny pockets of heaven. They were delicious but more importantly, they were so damn easy (and cheap). 

Somewhere between growing up, buying a house and having babies, Mr. AP and I had forgotten all about these burritos. The reason for this is likely because our trips to Costco suddenly became few and far between and when we did make our way there it was no longer for "fun" food but rather those items that when purchased in bulk sting just a tiny bit less. Dish and laundry soap, batteries, forty-seven chicken breasts, etc.

Until last weekend when my husband ventured there with not one but both of the boys in tow. Part of me wanted to hand him a trophy for his valiant efforts but then I quickly realized that taking both boys to the grocery store was something I did every week without the benefit of free samples. Trophy redacted. 

It's always kind of exciting when Mr. AP goes to Costco because you truly never know what he's going to come home with. Let's just say sixty-four English muffins, twenty-seven cans of tuna and three very large plastic bears filled with honey later, this trip did not disappoint. Good thing we won't need to buy any honey until 2017.

It wasn't until the following evening when upon arriving home from work to dinner unplanned that he mentioned those burritos that he had picked up while in Costco. I'm pretty sure my eyes lit up because within minutes we had two of those babies wrapped in damp paper towels and ready to hit the microwave. 

After dressing mine with all of the fixings, I sliced into it, forking a heaping piece into my mouth. I closed my eyes and must've made a nosie akin to that scene from the movie What About Bob. If you don't know the movie nor the scene that I'm talking about, I pity you. Mr. AP laughed and said, "it's that good huh? What does it taste like?" 

And the first word that came to mind was... FREEDOM. It was the burrito that tasted like freedom. Like carefree late nights and even later mornings. Like sleeping all the way through the night and wearing size 2 jeans. 

I swear that burrito was magic.

As I sat there trying to savor every last bite it was almost as if I couldn't even hear the constant din of the table around me. The "Mama? All done! All done, Mama! ALL DONE, MAMA!" and "Mom, I don't wike these green beans vewwy much," on repeat became obsolete.

I could almost feel the sticky floor of the local bar beneath my feet. The smell of stale beer and the cologne my husband wore in college tickled my nose. A picture of the very first house we lived in together flooded my memory and I thought about the time the basement flooded and we just stood there, ankle-deep in water and laughing hard as it continued to pour in through the walls of the foundation around us.

I thought about how much simpler life was then. When, after a long day at work I would come home, pop a burrito in the microwave, open up a bottle of beer and sit on the couch watching not one but maybe even two of my favorite TV shows in their entirety. 

I only kissed my husband goodnight on the weekends because it was during that time he traveled for business Sunday evening through Friday afternoon, week in and week out. It's why we have to remind ourselves to kiss each other good night, even now, four years after he left "the road," because saying goodnight over the phone had become such a natural part of our relationship.

There were no tiny voices begging me to change the channel back then. No little brothers clamoring for space in my lap. There was no husband who walked in the door each night and certainly no two little faces who downright lit up at his arrival.

Snapping back to reality, I suddenly realized my burrito was gone. The dog was begging to be let out and it was time to run the bath water.  That time may have been much simpler but my life is so much fuller now.

But those burritos? Those burritos are magic. 

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  1. It's funny how certain things trigger memories. Like for me cottage cheese with diced pears - EVERY TIME I eat it I think of long nights out and late mornings - or early mornings feeling like hell if I am being truly honest. It reminds me of life with just the two of us, and I savor it for just a moment - until the little hand pulling down my pajama pants gets my attention. Then I scoop her up and kiss her little face a million times as she proclaims "mommy, bunnies?" or whatever else she wants to eat. You are so right, life back then was so carefree but now life is so much fuller. Memories are a blessing:)

  2. This post. Oh, this post. It goes without saying that being a mother is a blessing. But it's also nice to remember the days before motherhood once in a while. Thank you for reminding me that the carefree college girl I once was (and the woman my husband fell in love with) is still in there somewhere - beneath the stained yoga paints and 3 day old hair, maybe. But she's there:)

  3. hahah I love this post! I'm trying to think of some food item i'd equate to your freedom burritos, but without having bared any kiddos yet I just don't think I can fully appreciate anything quite that much yet

  4. Oh my gosh, this is amazing! I totally feel that way about some foods!

  5. that is me with popeye's fried chicken. Back in the day, we used to pick up popeye's like it was no big deal and gorge ourselves on it. Now I can't even look at popeye's without my stomach turning! LOL

  6. You are a wonderful writer.. I am so thankful I found your blog a few years ago! Today, this is what I needed!

  7. It's funny how certain foods trigger such memories!

  8. Love it!! And you are such a gifted writer!!

  9. I really need one of those burritos.

  10. I love this! Especially that last part "That time may have been much simpler but my life is so much fuller now." We reminisce every once in a while about the pre-baby days... about what the heck did we do with all our free time back then -- there was SO much more of it then. But these days are better. Less sleep, less free time, but much, much more love.

  11. I'm giving serious thought to going to Costco tomorrow morning to find these burritos...

  12. Love it. And now I want a burrito, especially one that can be microwaved and ready in minutes :)

  13. "I could almost feel the sticky floor of the local bar beneath my feet. The smell of stale beer and the cologne my husband wore in college tickled my nose." THIS...This worked for me. I know exactly that sort of freedom you are talking about! And I miss it more than I want to admit as a parent! But if these burritos can transport me back to that hole in the wall college bar, back when our life was SO BEYOND SIMPLE, they are going in the cart!


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