In college, my senior dance performance was called “Soup for Ten.” Ten unique choreography students, including me, contributed dances to the show. The idea was that ten different ingredients would make one hell of a soup. (They did.)
The last four days of motherhood made an interesting recipe, too. Here were the ingredients:
One pillow fight – There’s something cozy about my boys cuddling up in my bed, watching their favorite shows, hiding under the sheets and hitting each other with pillows. It reminds me of playing with my sister when I was a little girl.
One Passover Seder – I’ve questioned religion for many years, but on Friday night, at a Seder with family and close friends, I was reminded of what I love so much about Judaism – ritual, tradition, and chopped liver (but not gefilte fish).
One oops – When the candles were lit, instead of reciting the blessing for Shabbat (Baruch atah Adonai…”), Dylan sang “Happy birthday to you…”
One croupy kid – After just seven hours of post-Seder sleep, Riley woke with the sweet sound of a barking seal. We spent the morning at the pediatrician’s office hoping for a negative strep test and a clear chest. We got lucky, but the little munchkin was down for the count.
One bedroom makeover – Anxiety leads me to do one of three things (or all of them): shop, clean and/or decorate. On Saturday, I set my sights on the boys’ bedroom. I rearranged their furniture, hung new alphabet and chalkboard wall decals, and reorganized their toys and books. When I was done, Dylan said, “Mommy, this room is so awesome.”
Two brothers – The unexpected consequence of the makeover was that the boys decided to sleep in the same bed, or more accurately, Dylan decided he needed to sleep in the same bed with Riley just like Mommy and Daddy.
I didn’t approve of this sleeping arrangement because (1) Riley was sick and (2) I knew there would be no sleeping, but I gave in. (Did I really have a choice?) I was right. There was no sleeping, but their brotherly love, especially Riley’s adoration of his older brother’s big idea, was beyond adorable. Not unexpectedly, by the end of the night, I had a croupy bedmate.
A heaping spoonful of charm – My sister-in-law once gave Mike and I a framed picture of us kissing (rated-PG) in our dining room. During the makeover on Saturday, Dylan asked me to place the picture right next to his lamp so he could see it and “have sweet dreams about Mommy and Daddy all night long.”
One dance party – What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Easter? Breakdancing? I thought so. Thirty-six hours after the Passover Seder, we prepped for Easter brunch at my sister-in-law’s house. The highlight, besides a yummy spinach frittata, was Dylan and Riley’s dance party complete with You Tube music videos by Alvin and the Chipmunks. As a Mama of boys and a former dancer, I sometimes feel a wave of disappointment that I don’t have a little girl to take to ballet classes, but it turns out I have a breaker on my hands, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
One bout of emotional shopping – On Monday morning, with two sick kids on my hands, I did what any desperate and exhausted Mama would do: I went to The Container Store (and boy did it feel good). Armed with new supplies, I cleaned out the laundry room and reorganized the boys’ closet.
A pinch of happy tears – I knew bedtime would be rough last night (the boys took late afternoon naps), but by 10:30 p.m., I was desperate and ready to cry (or give in and let the boys come to my bed). As I was about to sing ONE MORE SONG, Dylan said, “Mommy, thank you for moving our beds close together and for moving the furniture around and for hanging letters on our wall and for the chalkboards and for doing all of this cool stuff to our room. Thank you for everything. I love you so much.” And then I really did cry. “Mommy, why are you crying? Are you sad?” I said, “No, Dylan, I’m really happy. Sometimes people cry when they’re happy. I’m crying happy tears because what you just said to me was so thoughtful and kind. I love you, too.”
Yup, motherhood makes one hell of a soup.
Speaking of soup, yesterday evening, I made white bean and kale soup because a Mama can only be coughed and sneezed on so many times before she feels like crap, too. Here’s the recipe. It has less than ten ingredients, but it makes – you guessed it – one hell of a soup.
1-2 TBSP olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans
4 cups of kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil at medium-high in a soup pot
Sautee garlic and onions until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent
Add stock and beans, stir and let come to a boil
When soup boils, mash beans with a potato masher or similar kitchen utensil
Add kale and stir
Simmer for about ten minutes
Add salt and pepper to taste