“And so I went and let you blow my mind. Your sweet moonbeam. The smell of you in every single dream I dream” ~ Train
Last weekend I drove to the eastern part of the state to visit my son and his family.
The weather was unseasonably warm, so we found a little park along the bank of the Mississippi River and shared a picnic. Our time together always seems too short. There are so many things we want to say, and we gave it our best shot as we watched Sam toddle around in the grass
In those moments, I'm reminded that loving our sons is easy. They spend their days stumbling on sidewalk cracks and bubbling with goofy unconditional love. We can almost see them growing in their sleep.
The older mine gets, I realize many of our stories are interchangeable
How if someone had given us spreadsheets when we were young, outlining the ups and downs of relationships, we might never have dreamed of finding the one
How as things get harder with parenting, the more determined we are to make something meaningful
How to some, the mistakes of our past will always be the filter they see us through. Amen
How much compassion and love I have for them. How proud I am of where they are; how far they've come, and the incredible job they're doing as parents
How happy I am for their contentment with life. A feeling of gratitude and peace to simply be, right where they are
I think about them the next morning as I go about the mundane tasks of keeping my own life on track: watering the house plants, vacuuming, walking the dogs, doing the laundry, fixing something for lunch, paying bills, and answering emails. Nothing terribly exciting or important, just the ordinary work of being me
That afternoon a visit from a friend, and a parting ps as she was getting ready to leave. “Oh hey, the event we've been talking about? We went ahead and did it last week”
“But, wait, what? Nobody said? Nobody called? I was so looking forward to it.”
“Next time. Next time we promise to let you know. It'll be fun!”
(nobody ever says)
Admittedly, at that moment, a part of me deflated. I couldn't muster the power to hustle, fake a smile, or even grit my teeth. My husband, sensing my disappointment, took the puppies for a walk around the block, while I retreated. Ten minutes later I emerged,
and then the sickness came
Certainly, it could have been a coincidence, but it didn't feel like a fluke. My body simply said, “That peaceful and happy life you've created? The joy you felt with them yesterday? Let's do some more of that.”
So that’s what this week has been. I've taken a few days off from work, put (and re-put) Kleenex on the shopping list, napped on the sofa with a kitty, served a mediocre roast for dinner three nights in a row, haven't changed out of my pajamas, and a pony-tail has been a friend. Things have still gotten done, just slower.
It's been more than ok
There was a time, not long ago, when a week of rest would have been out of the question.
Where my only thought in the parting ps moment would have been “Who do I need to be this time? How can I hustle harder to win their love?” Instead, reminding myself there's only so much you can do, and offering my hurting heart the same kindness I'd show to a friend
Tonight I'm hungry for the first time in three or four days. “Let's see, where's the tomato tart he made for dinner last night?”
I pull one square of tart and throw it into the oven until it's bubbly. I cut into the collapsed and shriveled tomato, and its insides spill out all the things I love: anchovies, herbs, capers, lemon zest, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. I scoop everything up with crispy prosciutto
I take a sip of cough medicine, crawl into bed, and wrap a hand around my husband’s sleeping arm
As I lay there in the dark, listening to the puppies snoring and a kitty purring on my pillow, I think of the things from the day that I'm grateful for. The gift of rest, children, grandchildren, friendship, priorities, and letting the rest go
Maybe I’m getting wiser
Most certainly happier
‘Tis the season for cold + cough+ flu. And so, for the weekend, a few fun links from around the web to help us recover (or avoid it altogether)
I hope you have a good one!
What to Cook When You Can't Stomach Much [via Food52]
It turns out that managing stress can keep us whole and healthy. If we grab the yoga mat, do we still need to get a flu shot? [via The LA Times]
What to do and what not to do when it comes to your flu strategy [Food Coach NYC]
A magical tonic for banishing your cold [Bon Appetit]
Simplest health tip ever? Taking this vitamin will help prevent cold and flu [The Chalkboard]
What's a sick foodie to do? Leave it to the pros (or call your grandmother) [The Kitchn]
Eight soup and toddy heroes to save the day when you have a cold [via Food52]
(Featured image Photo Credit: Instagram – @williamssonoma)