Random Thoughts from a Lazy Sunday

| 11/30/2009 12:57:07 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaIt’s a rare day that I wake with an energy level of zero, but this past Sunday was one of them. I had no aspirations for the day at all beyond coffee and watching cable all day, and for the first couple of hours that’s what I did. But eventually, motherhood called.

Sometimes as a parent it’s good to have a day in which I am not trying to accomplish a single thing for myself. The rewards of spending an unstructured day with my daughter – at kid speed – are unpredictably delightful. She drew me a rooster, a pig and a horse, of which the rooster was my favorite.

Drawing of a rooster by a child

She threw herself across my lap and demanded a backrub. She wanted macaroni and cheese for breakfast. I always make my own from scratch, so that took a little more effort than I really wanted to put into it, but she ate a whole bowl full, plus I had plenty left over to go with pork chops for dinner. I had some myself with a bowl of wilted greens from the garden, and it occurred to me that Swiss chard might be a pretty good spinach-extender. If you remove the stalks, cooked, it has the same color and texture as spinach, and a very neutral flavor. I bet mixed half in half with spinach, a few picky eaters I know would never know the difference.

Then it occurred to me that I might be able to keep spinach growing all year round in my vestibule, which stays cool, but gets plenty of light. I think spinach could be grown in a shallow container ... something to think about. I might dig up a plant this week and give that a try. While standing in the kitchen pondering this, I noticed that our cilantro has developed its first true leaf.

Then my daughter asked me if school was “in session today” – no – and requested that I take her to the playground. I really wanted to stay parked on the couch, but I could not in good conscience tell her no. So I packed up a few juice boxes and off we went. It turns out she was feeling pretty low energy too, so we enjoyed the swings, and the beautiful weather, went up and down the slides a few times, and finally settled into a walk around the school, the town pavilion, and several playgrounds. We talked. We remembered things. I watched a tiny pink spider spin its way all the way to the ground on an invisible strand. I learned that a squirrel can fit through one of the diamond-shaped openings in a chain-link fence. Eventually we paused for maybe half an hour while she played on the ground. She asked me to play with her. Pulling my fingers through the cool pebbles and making trails in the soft dirt was like working in a Zen garden.

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