Thursday, August 9, 2012
The light is now blue at both ends of my day. The open window had condensation at its base when I got up this morning.
Bedtime has its ups and downs. Last night I yelled at Cal to stop talking and go to sleep, and he told me that he likes me less when I yell. I apologized.
Usually, around here, one boy wakes of his own accord, early, eager to get on with his day; one requires elaborate effort to rouse. My bright ‘good morning!’ is followed by some tickling, cajoling, a matter-of-fact request and then a stern admonition. Today, Alexi decided to wake him by reading him some of their bedtime book, The Lord of the Rings, on his way to work. So the boys were both up, Abbott reading, Cal building with Lego, when I came downstairs. Cal asked me to build with him. I resisted the urge to think about what else I could be doing, and was the mother I would like to be for those fifteen minutes.
As I heard the front door close, I thought about how stressful Alexi's job is in the life and death sense, and how my day’s stresses are in the mundane.
I make them a list every morning at breakfast – their ‘honey-do’ list, I call it. ‘Brush teeth’, ‘take a shower’, ‘hang up towel’, ‘make bed’, ‘practice piano 10 min’. ‘Unload the dishwasher.’ ‘Check for laundry under your bed.’ They’re diligent with it; everything gets done. It’s sacred, somehow.
They are at times querulous, at times wrestling like puppies, laughing, up to something together. Later, when one wants to read, alone!, and barricades his door with a chair, the other talks to him through the open window of the next room.
There is time to get bored. We play, and read, a lot. I’ve cooked a lot. We’ve taken long walks. We make what we want for our meals. We don’t rush.
On the way home from doing errands this afternoon we stopped and bought clams for dinner, because we were driving by Fisherman’s Terminal, and we could. I make them how a fisherman friend, who knows his way around the kitchen, told me to years ago.
Linguine with Clams
1 pound linguine
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small clams, washed well
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a large pinch of red pepper flakes
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Bring a large salted pot of water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook until just done. Drain, and return the pasta to the pot.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it gets warm, add one tablespoon of the olive oil, along with the onion, carrot and celery, and cook them until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the clams, wine, garlic, and chile flakes, cover, and cook until the clams open, about five minutes. After the clams have opened, turn off the heat, and add the parsley and the rest of the olive oil.
Add the clams, vegetables, and all their juices to the pasta, toss well, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings