Friday, April 23, 2010
Nori Eggs and Happiness
A friend told me she was amazed that she never felt like Colby's life was sad. She said, "For everything Colby goes through, it seems like you make her life a happy one." As we spoke, Colby was recovering from brain surgery, still unable to walk, and deeply affected by the experience. Colby does suffer, her seizures are violent, shocking and exhausting. It is sad that she goes through that, but never have I ventured into thinking her life, or our life with her, was sad. It is possible to contemplate suffering and sadness in terms of things that happen to her; her seizures happen to her. But to say, to feel, that her life is sad, inherently, by definition of the seizures, is impossible. I realized, in turning my friend's comment over in my mind, that to see Colby's life as sad would feel like the ultimate failure.
It is not that I cannot say Colby's life is sad, it is that it is not true. It is not true because we, while she is our girl, in our care, focus on the joy. We celebrate and acknowledge who she is, who Coral is, who they, as sisters, are together. We acknowledge our success as a family in finding moments of happiness and focus in the day.
And all the things that happen to Colby, injuries, seizures, hospitalization, that is just the work. It is hard work managing seizures. It is hard work being in the hospital. It is hard work feeling like there is not enough time for both girls. But our life together is more than work.
The daily, moment to moment, focus is to raise these girls well. To give them the love and support they need to reach their potential. This week, around our table, that means feeding Colby by hand, but waiting for her to gesture when she is ready for another bite. This gives her a sense of participation and control. And for Coral, it means helping her learn to say "Please," and not talk with her mouth full: tiny, important steps in learning to navigate the world more smoothly.
Colby smiled as she ate her Nori Egg omelette this morning, Coral was saying, "Please, more Dada," their cheeks were still warm, flushed from sleep. We were present, in the moment, our joy was quiet and sturdy.
Using scissors, cut half a sheet of nori in into thin strips about 1/16" wide and an inch long. Put the strips in a small bowl, add sansho pepper to taste and douse in regular soy sauce or usukuchi (light soy sauce). Set aside.
In a bowl beat 2 eggs (the more free range, the better!)
Heat a small cast iron skillet on medium-low heat. Add a splash of olive oil. When the oil shimmers pour in the eggs. Add a grind or two of black pepper. Cook as you would for an omelet. When the egg begins to set, lay a thick line of the marinated nori along the center of the eggs. Roll the egg over the nori mixture. Remove from pan and drizzle remaining soy/sansho mixture over the top.