Vegetable Life

Saturday Night I said to Jack,

“I’m hungry, I don’t know what to eat”

“Make vegetable stew” Jack replied.

His little body stood in the kitchen with me, his bright eyes melted my heart, as my son suggested a heart healthy meal, I should make for myself.

“That’s a great idea Jack!” I said.

I went to the cupboard and pulled out my instapot, some lentils, a can of chopped tomatoes, no salt added. I chopped a fresh onion, two big batches of spinach, carrots, and celery. I pressed the Stew button on my instapot and had a rush of optimism. Only a half hour before that I wondered what to do, I was hungry but tired, too tired to cook I thought. I started to feel depressed and worried about the next week, the next year of my life, what would I eat? No more lunches out, my little treat during my break from childcare and domesticity. Even though I’ve always ordered “Healthy” foods, Falafels, vegetarian burritos with no cheese or sour cream, salads with avocado and tahini dressing, vegetarian burgers, and my favorite of all- a whole grain bagel with lox, cream cheese, onions, cucumbers. These solo breaks in the mid-morning are so wonderful. Then there’s the soy lattes, I just found out there’s oil in soy milk! In fact, I am shocked how much oil there is in all the foods I eat. Even Pasta sauce! I never thought extra virgin olive oil would become an enemy to my health. I bought whole wheat tortillas yesterday and last night I read the ingredients, there’s Palm Fruit Oil in them! The moral of the story is I must make every single meal. It’s very labor intensive, Sunday I was in the kitchen all day. Between making the kids plates of food I made myself a beet salad with no oil dressing, I made homemade hummus with no oil, and I even sautéed mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers with no oil. It’s the first time I have ever sautéed vegetables without olive oil. It’s a big transition for me, but I want to live to see my kids graduate High School.

We had Fiona’s IEP on Friday, it put my mind at ease at bit. The team, teachers who have worked with Fiona from Early Start, and the new Team from the school district, were all there. Everyone shared information, ideas, and opinions about how Fiona has been doing and how they want to get the placement and services right. They gained my trust, I know they care deeply that Fiona succeeds. It is a good school district, it seems they are fully invested in all the kids achieving their highest potential. Most of the kids in our district are English as a second language learners. It’s interesting because the program they use, GLAD, it’s a program designed for language acquisition, perfect for Fiona. The program is all about diversity and working together. I still am going to teach Fiona sign language and I still think she will need to have an interpreter in school at some point. She did FINALLY start wearing both hearing aids and it’s incredible what a difference it makes. Friday morning, I had a scare. Fiona had overslept. I didn’t call the bus on time, I had just finished exercising and ran down to tell the bus driver Fiona wasn’t riding the bus, I would give her a ride to school. I set the hearing aid on a shelf in the kitchen and when I came back upstairs, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

“Jack, where’s Fiona’s hearing aid? Did you do something with it?” I said.

“No, I didn’t” Jack kept telling me.

I started to think I lost the hearing aid, I looked everywhere, I started to panic. It was the hearing aid on the side Fiona’s been wearing. I tried to put in the other hearing aid as she ate breakfast and she wouldn’t wear it. I was spinning out of control. Now Fiona was totally deaf, and we had to drive to school and do all these things where it was even impossible to use sign. Finally, the hearing aid was found. Jack had put glitter glue in the new hearing aid mold. He put it in the craft supply drawer. Can you believe it? Jack watched me go crazy, think I was crazy, let his sister go without hearing, without confessing. I had to take apart the hearing aid and wash out the glitter glue, then keep the hearing aid in the drying container. It was really stressful.

But today is a new day, a new week, a new year, everything is possible.



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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist