Thursday, June 24, 2010

Simplicity, Lettuce

June 23
Colby Rose has been in a seizure cluster for nearly two weeks. Today she went into the bathroom, got Craig's attention, and had her third seizure of the morning. Craig caught her as she fell. Coral put her black dog under Colby's head as she laid on the cool tile floor.
Coral asked, again, "What happen?"
"She had a seizure."
"Why she has them?"
Craig ventured into more detail, "She has epilepsy."
"Epepsy? What's that?"
"It is just the way she is made, honey."
"She has a boo boo, maybe we can go back to New York City and the doctors can take it off, again."
I hear the room go quiet. Craig, like me, absorbing the knowledge and care in Coral's words and suggestions. She completely understands, in her own way, that Colby had brain surgery, and that the doctors were trying to help the seizures. I think again about how to do this, to parent these two girls, together. Coral has been asked to understand, to accept situations beyond her years. Another mom wrote about balancing the needs of a family when one child has "legitimately higher needs." That phrase has brought a feeling of freedom, it is straightforward, and true.
Given the reality of our family, two parents, one high need child, one rapidly developing two and half year old, there are many demands, and simplifying is not so much a choice as a necessity.
Eating dinner, Craig has made a simple green salad. Lettuce, radish, scallion, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper. The summer lettuce has been crisp and nuanced in flavor, growing well in the warm, bright days and cool evenings.
Paring down to the essentials while still achieving the fullest expression of each ingredient; that is the beauty of this salad.
Given that Colby has "legitimately higher needs" I often worry about each of us reaching our potential. Craig and I defer our work to Colby's needs, Coral is asked over and over again to wait. But maybe it is possible to pare down the extraneous activities and expectations in a family and still reach our individual and collective potential, reach our fullest expression.

Simplest of Green Salads

In a bowl place sliced scallions and radishes. Cover lightly with vinegar. Let sit while prepping lettuce. Sprinkle olive oil over lettuce in bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Toss when ready to serve. Coating the radish and scallion with vinegar both softens their texture and infuses the vinegar with their flavor. Olive oil over the lettuce leaves coats it lightly and makes it shinier, and gives a silkier "mouthfeel."

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