Ferdinand is struggling with school again.
Everyday at the breakfast table for the past week he says “Mom, I don’t want to go to school.” And I think to myself how different it is this time.
How hopeful it is.
“Ferdinand” I say, “It is not easy, is it. You are working so hard. You are doing your very best, your absolute very best and
you are getting closer and closer to your goal, and where is easy? Nowhere. I know.”
“I think I should stay home from school.”
“You know why you can’t stay home from school? Because this is good hard. This is the kind of hard that’s going to take you up. You are with teachers
you love and who believe in you. They know what you are capable of, which is up.”
“What if I don’t want to be up?”
“You do. Up is where you want to be because when you get there, you get to look back and say, ‘I did that.’ And that’s what
keeps you walking. So look for what is going to get you through. Appreciate how delicious your potato chips are. Love recess. Take pride in how
beautiful your desk is.”
“Can I have a donut for breakfast?”
“Yes, you can.”
Somedays it’s whatever it takes.
On that day, I took the dog to the vet because she couldn’t walk from a cat fight, I signed up for another credit card, I obsessed about passing the plumbing inspection and the electrical inspection, and felt as alone as a patient in the waiting room on the doctor’s day off. And do you know what hit me? The light on the back cement brick wall of the garden; the way you could see the shadow of the leaves moving in the wind on the back wall. You never know what it is that’s going to keep you going.

For nourishment: braise two cups of cauliflower flowerets in an inch of water w/a leek, salt, parsley and olive oil. Same for a cup of string beans, and cup of peeled, chopped beets. Change the water for each vegetables. Saute a small, tight red onion w/a bit of fresh parsley and a few bay leaves. Toss everything together with a few good green olives that you pit yourself and a few tablespoons of warmed through walnut halves. Crush a clove in a mortar and pestle w/olive oil and a tiny clove of garlic. Fold into the mixture w/a few drops of red wine vinegar and more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your best bread and a semi firm goat cheese.

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