“That’s a colorful salad,” LP commented appreciatively.
I’m finding this adjustment to permanently cooking for basically only two a challenge. LP eats dinner with her dad three times a week, and I am not good at making sure I eat a proper meal under those circumstances. I’m a little better at doing it for the two of us, but in recent weeks, with the busy of Lent upon me, my meal prep has been poor.
And my shopping has been worse.
And I feel guilty about it. I know better. I know if there is good food at home, we will eat it, and it will be better for us. I know there have been times I shopped and planned, for just the two of us, even in Lent.
So this afternoon we spent some time after school at Whole Foods, picking out things that looked both good and nutritious. Tonight we had bean and cheese burritos (organic beans, organic cheese, whole wheat tortillas, salsa) and a big salad of mixed greens, shredded carrots, avocado and sunflower seeds with a balsamic maple vinaigrette of my own composition.
LP, who acknowledges she needs to develop some kitchen skills, stirred beans and salsa in a small saucepan while I heated the tortillas in the large skillet. While we cooked we ate “Love Beets,” infused with balsamic and white wine vinegar. They were good for my mood, which had still been mildly defensive over a conversation about what we have at home that can be packed in a school lunch. After 25 years of motherhood, I’m tired of contending with packed lunches. And at almost 50, my goat can still be gotten by the implication that I am less than fully effective at that 25 year “career.”
Okay, maybe my mood was more than mildly defensive. I want to do everything well, and I can’t, and I get mad at myself about it.
The beats of parenting go on and on, and I know they won’t end when LP stops packing lunches and packs her bags for college in two years instead. They come in the Facebook chat box and after individualized rings on my iPhone. I look hope that despite the recent disarrangements, these children of mine will be okay. I remind myself that at the best of times, I am not the best-organized shopper or cooker and pray other things matter more.
I try to remember the Love Beats, the encounters infused with humor, and solemn affection. And then my mood lifts, if I’ll let it.