The water gurgles. She stirs the large concoction of peas, carrots, tomatoes, and chicken, humming a long-ago lullaby. Images of a young boy dance in her mind. Chicken pot pie was his favorite dinner. He would start from the middle and carve his way out, eating each spoonful slowly to savor the taste. That was the kind of boy he was, always careful and meticulous, even with food. She smiles and continues to stir, remnants of her labored, unconditional love. After all these years, she has not forgotten the way his round, curious eyes lighted up upon smelling her homemade pie.
The door bell rings.
“Coming! I’m coming!” Clatter, shuffling feet, an opened door.
Warm embrace. Her head meets his chest, and she reaches up to pat his shoulders. “Welcome home, son.” She remembers when he was so small, her arms could wrap around his tiny frame; when his little head rested against her breast and she was his source of nutrient; when her body could protect his from harm.
He holds her soft, dough shoulders, and looks at the aged face; more wrinkles around the eyes, graying hair, but still the same expression radiating with love as she searches for that boyhood grin. “Hey mom.” He forces a grin, but it falters midway.
“I made you some chicken pot pie,” She holds her day’s labor in both hands, waiting for those same blue eyes to brighten.
His brow furrows with confusion as he looks at the round, golden pie, encircled by a delicate crust. “Er, I don’t like chicken pot pie mom.”
“Oh okay,” her smile falters, crestfallen. “Well come inside the kitchen, I’ll fix you something else to eat.”
The pie is abandoned by the doorway. Forgotten.