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Decisions, decisions

On our drive to school, my daughter and I listened to a celebrity interview on the radio. In it, the men discussed that they eat the same three meals each day to eliminate three decisions they’d otherwise have to make. The objective was to quiet their growling tummies so they could get back to work, not obsess over food choices.

I had an epiphany: this is why they are successful individuals. This is also why they’re thin individuals — but that’s another topic altogether. The men also mentioned that President Obama had said he owns two suits that he basically alternated wearing for the same reason. Fewer choices.

I looked down at my PJ pants and thought that’s fantastic because I do the same thing! Simon & Schuster should call about my manuscript any day now. But when my husband texted me later asking, “What’s for dinner?” I both realized this is why my husband is successful at his job and why I was typing this blog bra-less with chocolate on my face.

After I meet my deadlines, I’m still supposed to have a meal plan and know when was the last time someone wore their favorite sweatshirt and where they could find it now.

As the resident parent — the one who works from home and manages the household — the weekly grocery list relies on the expectation that I know exactly what everyone else wants to put in their mouth.

“I’m headed to the grocery, any requests?” I’ll ask.

“Nope, just the usual,” is the typical response I get.

The usual. That translates to mean: protein bars to get Dad through the workday, tuna fish for the pescetarian sister, bagels for the vegetarian sister and avocados for baby brother. And that’s just for when they fend for themselves. I still have to think of meals! Oh, the hours wasted on Pinterest for meals! Crockpot meals, single-pan meals, casseroles you can freeze for later, and the always appetizing dump soups. Doesn’t that sound delicious? It sounds easy and that’s the point. What can I put together during the five minutes baby brother will sit in his chair and smear avocado all over his face? That’s a meal I can Pin! Naptime is for writing important blogs that will impress Simon & Schuster — like this one.

I love the days when my husband texts me, “Going out to lunch with the guys.” This is code meaning for dinner he’ll eat what I packed him for lunch.

Then, he texts me on Friday, “Want to go out to eat tonight?”

I know the magic is still alive.

“Yes!” I text back. “Yes, my love!” He so gets me.

“Great,” he responds. “Where do you want to go?”

— Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer, wife and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Her work has appeared in The New York Times; Brain, Child Magazine; Scary Mommy and more. Her Cincinnati Family Magazine mom blog earned Best Overall Blog in the 2017 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists Awards. Bonnie is also the communications director of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @writerBonnie or on her website at

Reflections of Erma