In the blog world, I prize the well-crafted essay over extemporaneous confession. Not that I prefer all scripted entertainment to “reality”—give me Top Chef over CSI any day. I just don’t equate blogging with journaling. But I’m feeling candid today about my absence.
Hysteria hit on Friday night. We’d just put the kids to bed, and I promptly fell apart. Keep in my mind that I’m a temperamentally balanced person. I rarely have extreme highs and lows. But I also have limits.
Trouble began on Thursday when I got the call at work that my daughter had hurt her arm at recess, and she probably needed to see a doctor. So DH and I raced to the elementary school and then whisked her to the orthopedic clinic. Sure enough, she had broken it.
Friday, I stayed home with DD, her right arm in a cast and sling. And I received two phone calls that afternoon. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon telephoned to inform me that DD would need to go under general anesthesia on Monday to allow them to manipulate her arm back in place and put pins in it, before replacing the cast.
The second call notified me that DS had to be picked up from school. I will omit the details of the pick-up, but it’s traumatic for all involved. Anyone who knows children on the spectrum also knows how things can fall apart. He’s been suspended from school for two days for inappropriate language.
I kept it together on Friday until the kids were tucked in. And then I needed valium.
Instead, I had the next best thing. Soup. In fact, I ate soup for three days straight. It’s not just the only thing I could stomach, but it actually had a restorative effect. It takes no effort to eat: you don’t have to chew or even swallow. It’s steamy and warm. I can feel it healing my spirit and my body. On Friday, I have thick New England Clam Chowder (sweetly fetched by DH from Fresh Market), I have creamy Rosemary and Parsnip Soup on Saturday (homemade at Weaver Street Market), and once I get my head above emotional waters, I make an earthy Porcini and White Bean Stew.
DD’s operation was a success yesterday. We’ve regrouped. And tomorrow both children return to school, and I go back to work. With a lighter heart, I honor what helped me find my way back. Soup, beautiful soup. Soup of the evening, beautiful soup.
Porcini and White Bean Stew adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living
1 ¾ cups chicken stock
¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 ounces fresh white mushrooms, quartered
3 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small sprig fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 can (19 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
Bring the stock and ½ cup water to boil in small pan. Add porcini. Let stand until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove porcini, coarsely chop and set aside. Strain soaking liquid and set aside. Heat oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in porcini, tomatoes, rosemary, soaking liquid, and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove cooked rosemary and discard. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.