For the first time in an age, I’m alone in a house filled with silence. Well, almost alone. My husband is “at work” upstairs. Employing quotes implies that he isn’t actually working. He is.
I cannot hear My Little Pony playing on the TV downstairs. I cannot hear my son humming repetitively under his breath while he concentrates on something. I cannot hear the sound of my daughter’s foghorn flute voice asking me for a cup of water/a snack/a show/another snack/help/a sweater/clean socks/a cookie/screentime/playtime.
Today I celebrate my son’s 12th year on the Earth.
Somehow, inexplicably, twelve years have flown and crawled and staggered past us. Ten years have gone since his cancer diagnosis, and time has rubbed away some of the horror of that wound, for all of us.
2020 has, and let’s not sugar-coat it, been a bit of a shit year all ’round, am I right? All of our lovely plans have gone up in smoke, the global pandemic rages on, and the uncertainty of what the future holds has us staring at the ceiling at night, and anxiously checking our news-feeds over and over.
I haven’t been immune to it. Fear has definitely got its sharp hooks into me too.
But I’ve been here before. 2010 was the worst year of my life. I stood on the brink of losing my only child oh-so-many times. Every day was a different kind of struggle. I was happy too, though, because I still had him. The highs were high and the lows were very low.
There are a lot of posts and memes going around right now about how much we Gen Xers are showing quarantine/social distancing who’s boss. At the risk of sounding like a crotchety member of the older generation, it’s true. In our day we had to play with pet rocks for chrissakes!
Sometimes it feels like the kids of today have it all.
And by all, I mean things like devices that cost hundreds of dollars and provide endless hours of fun and excitement. When I was a kid, it was mind-boggling to have, like, Atari. (We never had Atari.) Even a game as low-budget as a Wonderful Waterful was pretty entertaining. (And honestly, I don’t know if we actually had one of those either.)
Back in the heyday of the 80s, when you went over to a friend’s house, you played outside in the backyard. Completely unsupervised of course. My brother and his friend used to light GI Joes on fire using cans of Lysol spray to incinerate them.
Now that we’ve all got all the time on our hands, it’s a good moment to dust off that juicer that’s been suffering neglect in your cupboard. I’ve had this baby below for, probably, sixteen years.
When we’re going through health-kick phases, it lives on the counter, so that everyone knows what kind of a**holes we are when they come into the house. Otherwise, we keep it in an annoyingly inaccessible cupboard, making daily use impossible.
It’s back on the counter now! Because if the Internet has taught me something, it’s that celery juice can cure anything if consumed in the correct quantities.
Juice doesn’t have to be that hard. It doesn’t need to taste like grass to do you good. I usually just throw a bunch of stuff in there with carrot as a base. (Because cheap)
In these crazy times, food waste has become a cardinal sin. Making juice is also a great way to use up fruit and veggies that have gone a bit past prime.
The biggest bonus of all is watching your children consume nutrition in a glass without even arguing, as beets = pink.
The other day, the kids and I made a juice, and then used the pulp to make muffins. I know, I am amazing.
The reality check of all this healthy living is that I ended up standing in the kitchen for two hours, making juice and cleaning juicer parts. And making muffins with a child on hand who wanted to “help” but basically spilled every ingredient before storming off in tears because Mummy is mean.
Stuck in the house though, what else have I got to do except clean up messes that my kids make? What are you doing to safeguard your health? Celery juice? ?
Is the best flavour of ice cream in the world. There, I said it.
And this stuff they make at our local, Ed’s, somehow manages to capture in its frozen goodness the essence of summer campfires. Without the mosquitoes.
Forget canned beans and frozen peas. A pint or two of this is essential. For mental health. Unfortunately, like many other things in the city, essential services like ice cream stores will have to be closed for awhile.
Have we invented a word yet for the regret we feel for the things we failed to stock up on when it all got real?