Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No guilt

My mom makes the most amazing treat every Christmas - Peanut Butter Balls. Think of Buckeyes on steroids. These are round delicacies made of peanut butter and coated in chocolate, with a secret ingredient that makes them better than any other chocolate-peanut butter dessert you've ever eaten. And they don't have that annoying bare spot found on the Ohioans claim to fame. Pure delight.

They're a pain to make. I know because I've made them once or twice. So most years I just leave them to my mom. We know that when we arrive for Christmas, we'll find a few on the dessert tray. And when I say a few, I mean a few. Because my mom is very stingy with her peanut butter balls. She's allowed to be since she's done all of that work. Since retirement, my dad is her self-proclaimed (or forced?) co-laborer so together, they are afforded the luxury of carefully rationing the peanut butter balls. A few for Christmas day, a few to take out to my brother's house in Indiana, and very secretly, a few to send home with me.

I've come to think of the latter as mine and mine alone. I guess it's a right of inheritance? Or maybe a privilege for the one who daily labors to feed her children and who too often has to listen to complaints or pleas for substitutions to the day's menu. Yes, this, above all, demands that there be some type of compensation from children to mother. And since no one asked me what I wanted as compensation, I made the decision independent of general consensus.

Taking into account the rare but altogether possible view that I should not be the sole beneficiary of the peanut butter balls sent to our home, certain precautions needed to be taken. As we were taking leave on Christmas day, my mom pulled the precious container out of the freezer. We exchanged a knowing look and all I had to say was, "Veggie Meatballs" and she instinctively knew what I meant. With a few strokes of her Sharpie marker, the deed was done and the peanut butter balls hoarding tradition was passed down from mother to daughter. And the Veggie Mt. Balls label stared up at me every time I reached into the deep freeze because I didn't even need to bury it under lots of veggies. Just as it did every time one of my children reached into that same deep freeze.  Only I'm sure they didn't see it with the same delight as I.

And if you're wondering, No, I felt absolutely no guilt as I rationed and solitarily enjoyed my daily dose of peanut butter mixed with that secret ingredient and covered in chocolate. Well, I may have felt a teeny tiny bit of conscience so as the supply dwindled to near-zero, I did share one with each family member who was home today, confidently telling them that they could no longer say that I had never done anything for them.

As if that isn't enough to make me Mother-of-the-Year, I then promised to sacrifice and subject myself to the pain of making them a batch of peanut butter balls. Because I'm awesome like that.

Do you think they'll find the ice cream I've hidden in there?


  1. One summer camp I worked at we labeled the chocolate chip cookie dough 'liver' and back dated it years to ensure a longer life. :)

  2. Brilliant! Thank you. I now have next year's plan.