The past week has been a blur of refrigerator repairmen, work, a quick turnaround freelance project and finding every spare minute to spend with Will. Though I always spend as much time with Will (not being in the same room, but really doing things with him), this week I happened upon one too many newspaper articles about tragedies that befell families including a horrific triple homicide home invasion here in Connecticut. My heart just aches when I read about stories like this.
Several years ago, before I was married or a mother and while I was still a reporter for Connecticut’s second largest newspaper, I routinely wrote about untimely deaths – the tragedies. Children gone too soon, families left to pick up the pieces . . . and I was there to speak with them about their loss. But my specialty was digging up histories of people (and companies, when the need struck). My friends would occasionally ask me how I could write about such terrible things and not have it affect me. Back then, the loss and the tragedy of the deaths never got to me. Sure, it was sad to hear about the promising lives left behind but I was detached from the lives I wrote about. The pain, loss and suffering that was the cornerstone of much of my newspaper career didn’t touch me . . . until it did.
I changed. My life changed. After getting married and having Will, I realized that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t immerse myself in other people’s tragedies all day long and then go home to my sweet little son and wonderful husband and not let it affect me. I quit, but kept freelancing for the paper for another year or so. As a freelancer, I could write about new developments proposed before the Planning and Zoning Commission and school improvements, but I didn’t have to cover death and destruction any more.
I’ve since left the newspaper behind for good, instead taking on new challenges in new publication areas. But when I read about children who are hurt or worse, it takes me back in time to when I wrote enthusiastically about these topics without a second thought. Time, age and parenthood changes us all. In my case, it was like going from perpetual darkness into a life filled with light. I had never realized that my life was in darkness, until it wasn’t anymore.
What does any of this have to do with cooking? It doesn’t exactly. But in my life, I didn’t start this blog, writing about food or even regularly enjoying cooking until I came into the light, getting married, having Will and leaving behind all the tragedy.
These days, as much as I would love to avoid those stories, I can’t. I still have to have my fingertip on the goings on around me. But when I read them, they make me want to rush home and hug my son. Often, once the day is through, that is exactly what I do. It also reminds me to enjoy the moments we have, so I get down on the floor and play with him before whipping up dinner. On nights when it’s just the two of us, I also try to cook up things that he’ll love to eat.
This week, I cooked these tiny onions you see here with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Will and I feasted on them along with several other vegetarian selections. But other than that, I didn’t do too much cooking on account of the failing refrigerator (current status: tentatively running, but it’s been deemed unable to permanently repair. Just waiting on the repair company to tell the warranty company that . . . any day now . . . so that we can get a new one).
This afternoon, I have big plans with some onions and other delicious ingredients . . . until then, go hug your children, tell them you love them and put aside whatever else it is that you feel like you need to do this Sunday. Take a few moments to just enjoy their company.
Category: Mama's baby