I don't know about you but I'm going a little stir crazy in the blinding cold snap we've been suffering through these last several weeks. With temps well below freezing, in fact well below 20 degrees, the idea of being outside is not only unsavory but downright unappetizing! So I have found myself doing indoor activities to keep my mind straight… and lots of them involve cooking, I fact all of them do.
I looked in the fridge this morning and was truly astonished to see that it was stuffed FULL of meals that I have been cooking to relieve my "cabin fever". My tastes have never been for colder weather, so I apparently have taken on the challenge to flavor this winter with my own menu of options that I am creating myself.
I actually didn't realize that I was doing this until Thursday evening, when I received a text from Erika asking what I wanted her to make for dinner (since I had stopped by her work, picked up Piper from school, dressed her for dance, and was taking her to class that evening) she wanted to do it as a thank you gesture for my extra work. My reply to her was "no need to cook, I made you chicken strips with mushrooms and leeks in a light wine sauce".
It's not that I don't like cooking, believe me I do, but I am doing it out of complete and udder winter insanity! I find it kinda odd that I didn't see this manic cooking obsession occurring until the fridge was literally full of cooked (in some cases gormet) food from light bulb to crisper!
Should I be concerned, maybe, but if there is a family dinner, or snack, or anything food related happening I have made it this month… and until it warms up, I don't see it stopping.
Raising a child is hard work. If you choose to disagree, then you're a better person that almost every parent that I have ever encountered. I once heard a father say that "it takes a village" (to raise a child), paraphrasing an old Oprah line, and I think he's right.
I have no kids of my own, but I refer to my step-daughter Piper as my daughter, and helping her navigate this earth has been as much of an amazing learning experience for me as it's been for her.
I pick her up from school each and every afternoon, and we roll home discussing her day and its highs and lows. Usually the conversation is bright and bubbly with the occasional exhaustion induced meltdown (followed by a nap), but overall our afternoons are pretty predictable.
This week however, Piper has been suffering with the same seasonal virus that most of us Northeasterners have been battling as of late: the cough, the sneezing, the slight temperature, and in her case a genuine lack of sleep… it's been torture for her, and for us.
She came bounding out of the school, happy to see me, and no doubt happy to be done with classes for the day, hugged my neck, jumped in her seat in the rear of my truck and barely made it to the parking lots exit before her head bobbed forward, sound asleep. She was out cold in a matter of time that could've been measured in seconds.
The trip home and most of the rest of the afternoon found her in a listless state of consciousness, and when she appeared at the kitchen door (semi-awake) about two hours later, she had sought me out for a hug that turned out to be a change of napping location… my shoulder.
I have found that one of the toughest things about raising a child is caring about them as much as you understandably do. You want to heal their hurt and sooth their illness, but usually can't, and thus take on the almost guilty feeling of helplessness of being unable to do exactly that task. That nagging feeling of parental vulnerability is one only the deep love of a child can provoke, and it's a tough pill to swallow.
I know in a few days, with proper rest and care that the bug will run its course, and she'll be back to the happy little kindergartener she usually is, but for now Erika and I have the displeasure of having a front row seat to the Piper Is As Sick As Hell Show… and it's awfully hard to watch!