Sunday, November 5, 2017
The Young & the Restless
Punch was at her Mimi’s from yesterday morning til today at 5. Dan and I loved the rest and the chance to reconnect. We went out to dinner at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell. We took naps and read. He mowed the lawn. We caught up on four loads of laundry./We had a breather from the get-to-soccer-game drill, the stress of lasso-ing Punch from neighborhood play, finding the shin guards in our confused home, then the ponytail holder, filling the water bottle with “fridge water,” since Punch likes it over tap water. And then watching closely from the sidelines because good sportsmanship comes naturally to many but not to all, including the short person in our midst./And somewhere between Dan’s craft beer at the Cloverleaf and my coffee with Baileys, we addressed some hard stuff in a few short sentences. I am grateful for that time and space./Once back home with us, Punch had mixed emotions. She adores her young Mimi, her late father’s mother. But the ride to Mimi’s is 2.5 hours—to reach a wide-open part of South Jersey. So she tends to return emotional and tired. Tonite followed form. /Ours is a dysfunctional nuclear family. [Actor Andy Garcia said “Every family is dysfunctional.”] I worked hard to make a nice Sunday dinner—a big pot of chili with roasted cherry tomatoes in it, with a kick of heat from chili peppers Dan grew. I kept the browned ground turkey separate, so Punch and I could add it to our bowls. I made cornbread and brown rice. I cleaned out the fridge while the chili simmered on the stove./Alas, Figgy was going to her friend’s and Dan was ovverhungry and Punch was bouncing around and being fresh and no one was filling the water glasses, though they did get the rest of the table set with paper napkins and spoons after I asked twice. In the midst of all this, I learned some troubling information and could have easily become consumed, even crippled, with worry. But I kept calm and ate my chili. One step at a time, one spoonful at a time. Good night.