Peace isn’t a word usually associated with two energetic young boys. Cooped up inside, during a northeastern February–literally bouncing off the walls is more like it. (As evidenced by one hole in the drywall, 2 broken doorknobs, and many other more minor casualties around the house…)
Even the 2 year old has taken to greeting me with a snarl, a growl, or a “let’s fight mama!”
Flash forward to today: family yoga class, the boys and me, on three blue mats, in a warm, wood floored room, with a few other (more well behaved) families. Erase from your mind idyllic visions of me and my boys quietly and harmoniously moving through a series of centering and calming poses. There was very little listening, there was a lot of rolling on the floor, and riding mama like a horsey, and throwing a big pile of yoga blocks in the center of the room and building a tower, and other forms of mayhem.
So at the end of class, when my 6 year old raised his hand to answer the question: “what is peace?” I wasn’t prepared to hear his answer, clear and strong, and full of hope: “peace is when there’s no war, and everybody gets along.” And just like that, everything stopped. And there it was, for a fleeting moment, with him in my lap, and his brother leaning against me. Peace. It’s in there.
In 1975, my mom and her best friend designed and illustrated a cookbook for kids. I was 4 years old.
I remember my mom sitting at the drafting table in her bedroom. I would sit next to her, at a smaller desk on the floor, doing my own “work”. In those days, text was laid out by hand (!!!) every letter and line, hand pasted. Hard to imagine, in the world of digitized type. My mom drew most of the little visual illustrations that went with the instructions.
On a recent snowy day, we cracked open our copy of “Yeladim Mevashlim” and made a simple, lovely, no fuss chocolate cake. The book is still in print in Israel, 35 years later! And I love being able to share it with my own kids, who are now the same age my brother and I were when our mom was working on the book.
Spending time with my parents cooking and eating made me love to eat and experiment. Nowadays, the one thing I love more than eating and cooking, is thinking and planning what I want to be cooking and eating.
Here’s what I want to eat right now:
The little man has the flu. Not much can stop the constant ball of energy that is 3, but this one has got him down. I spent the last couple of days snuggling with him at home, and tonight, ran out for an hour or so on my own to get some fresh air. When I got home, he asked me to come put him to bed. With the fever and flu related confusion, he’s been fixated on tigers, and needed me to keep him safe from the possible tiger invasion of his room. As he curled around my arm, tucking my wrist under his cheek, he let go of all his anxieties and started drifting off. I sat there, in the dark, contemplating this mystical power of motherhood. Where did it come from? How does it work? How is it that a simple hand, and a warm presence, is enough to soothe all those fears away?
I’ll take a little bit of that energy please…