07:14 Accepting myself resulted in good things. Yesterday after writing that post, I did my exercises, prepared a hearty vegetable stew for the eight of us, with onions, leeks, butternut squash from a neighbour’s garden, and carrots.
I love slicing the vegetables on the wooden board while hearing the broth bubbling on the stove next to the counter. Two bouillon cubes, coriander, cumin. It doesn’t take long, and everyone always loves this stew. The squash makes it so sweet it tastes like there must be sugar in it, though there’s none. Just nature’s candy.
My second son came back from hanging out with my parents at the caravan and I showed him how to make bread in the bread machine. We used to make it by hand, but these machines go on sale for cheap every now and then, so we bought one once, and using one saves a lot of time and mess, as well as fuel.
I do a multigrain bread mix (basically the mix is flour, grains and yeast) with warm water (even though it says to do cold) and I put it on the shortest cycle (even though it says to do the longest), which is only 1 hour 20 minutes long from mixing to baked. As with anything, you have to experiment a bit for good results. In the past the loaves would be too small and compressed, so now I do 1.5 times the recommended amount instead of just a single batch. This time the loaf turned out high and with the perfect crumb — tender, airy yet melt-in-your-mouth.
I also oil-roasted the squash seeds to perfection with a bit of salt. Then I made a batch of sugared, salty-roasted-seed-sprinkled brownies which came hot out of the oven at dessert time.
When the brownies were in the oven I donned my new blue €6.99 snakeskin-patterned lycra running pants (yep, for real! believe me, these things make me run a lot faster!) and went for a run in the rain.
Yes, I was a “good wife.” Bears mentioning, since in the traditional sense, I too-rarely am.
Every year when my parents visit, I think it’s really neat to see the innocent sexism my dad exhibits. When I prepare all that which I just described for lunch, including cleanup and setting the table with a nice ambiance, in my mind I think I just accomplished something pretty damned amazing: prepared a massive, delicious, healthy, home-cooked meal for a good-sized group of people, usually teaching one or more of my boys how to do it along the way. (Is there anything more noble in the world?) My dearly beloved (truly!) dad sits down to dine, and not a word is spoken about it.
But then, my (albeit amazing) husband cooks a batch of (albeit equally amazing) homemade pizza for dinner, and my dad is genuinely blown away. He will rave on and on and on about it. And it’s not because he particularly likes pizza or anything. The same would apply if I had made the pizza, while my husband had made the soup, bread, roasted seeds and brownies. (Tested and true. Well minus the seeds and brownies.)
Don’t get me wrong. My dad is still the best dad in the universe. And he was raised with the stereotypes of the times. But if there was one thing that used to grate on my nerves it was that unknowingly sexist attitude.
As another example, dad also thought that my husband had been the one to “save” our eldest kid from his predicament in the tree yesterday.
My son sometimes practices climbing and repelling from the trunk of the big linden tree in front of our house. He has secured a long rope around the lowest branch, which is about six metres or so off the ground. He attaches himself with a climbing harness, then hoists and climbs his way up and (usually) repels himself safely back down.
My mom, who was playing our piano (bless her!) on the second floor, noticed, upon looking out the window, that DS1 was ringing the old bell that’s fixed up there, sounding a kind of gentle alarm. She came into the kitchen to tell us, quite worried. My husband said, laughing and completely unconcerned, while slinging pizzas, “Get out the crossbow and aim it at him, that should get him down quick enough.”
Although I had to admit he was probably right, that didn’t seem appropriate somehow (lol). I went outside, stood there staring at the harnessed arse of my kid who was suspended high above me.
“How’s it going?”
“Are you stuck?”
“Anything I can do to help?”
“Are you in pain?
“Would the ladder help, to take the weight off?”
“Probably.” His face was growing pinched.
I turned to my dad. “Dad, can you help me with the ladder?”
My dad and I manoeuvred the heavy 40ft ladder together, so that it stood against the trunk of the tree. DS1 was able to relax his legs by standing on it, which meant he could release the climbing clip from its stuck position (as well as the pressure and pain caused by the harness), then repel down, just as it began to pour rain.
Which is not a big deal.
But still, get this: later, my dad said to me, what an amazing man you have there, can cook pizza like this, in between rescuing his eldest son from the tree!
This was entirely innocent on my dad’s part. And his memory is failing (has been for decades, and he’s aware of it, which kills him). But this kind of thing happens all the time. In my dad’s mind, it was truly my husband who had acted *my* part in the so-called “rescue.” Even though all my husband had done was offer (jokingly) to aim at our son with a crossbow. And even though my dad had been physically beside me, holding the same ladder as me!
I find this fascinating. It makes me think of history and the way it has been written, mostly by men. (Unless women were actually doing that, too, officially unrecognized…) Yikes, getting into iffy territory here. Rest assured I actually love (most) men. Just as I love (most) women.
Sorry this has nothing to do with sobriety. Except for the fact that yesterday, even with my beloved parents here inadvertently driving me crazy (my mom’s another story, love her though I do), I didn’t drink. Even in a technically-on-holiday (we’re still on spring break here), technically-socializing-with-family-from-overseas situation.
That’s pretty cool.
I did pound a bunch of 0% near-beers though. Don’t think I’ve ever had so many in one night. As it turns out, I didn’t miss the booze at all. Nothing to regret today. No family quarrels, passive-aggressive snarky remarks on my part, little late-night boo-hoo festivals.
one sober, faux-snakeskin-lycra-wearing, self-sung super-hero
Here is my husband (or rather, his bottom half; how sexist of me, no actually it’s to preserve a shred of his anonymity, not that he’d likely care, self-assured guy that he is): barefoot, as it so happens, in the kitchen. He’s a total champ, I have to admit. His pizzas were as amazing as always. And he also finished building the new woodshed roof yesterday! I also have to admit he looks wayyyyy better wearing my pants than I do. I might let him keep ’em.
p.p.s. trying them on was his idea. He had had a few beers, mind you. And yes our ancient concrete floor is cracked. And yes I have some decluttering to do in the entryway.