Last Friday we celebrated the Lunar New Year at school with a dragon parade, as we do every year; as people all over the world do. The kindergartners process with a dragon they’ve built, and the fifth graders make music to accompany them. Incense fills the air as the kids and the dragon move to the music and the chants of “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” The dragon breathes fire, or at least smoke, thanks to strategically placed dry ice in its head. It has never rained the years I’ve attended. We parents pack in tightly together with our cameras, taking pictures and video, murmuring commentary to one another. The students watching think back to the year when they were one of the kindergartners. This year, as a fifth grader, Abbott played the recorder for the parade, and he took it very seriously. He brought his recorder and his music with us to Costa Rica a few weeks ago so he could practice, despite my reassurances that he really, really didn’t need to. One of Cal’s classmates told me he dreams of the day he’ll be a fifth grader and get to make the music.
Now I’m catching my breath over a cup of Earl Grey. The boys are at the dining room table surrounded by salt water taffy, stickers with hearts, markers, cards, and envelopes, finishing up the Valentines they’ll pass out at school tomorrow. Their cards read, “My favorite thing about you is…” They’re completing the thought with sentiments along the lines of, “You are kind,” “You also like sports,” “You always say good morning to me.”
The Lunar New Year has come and gone, already it’s Ash Wednesday, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and before we know it Easter will be here.
I don’t have a picture of the soup I had for lunch today to fortify you, but this has been my winter’s day lunch all week at home.
A lunch of roasted broccoli and cheese
1 head broccoli, about 1 pound
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oz aged cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and trim the broccoli, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Toss it with the olive oil. Place the broccoli on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. Grate the cheddar cheese. After the 10 minutes have passed, sprinkle the cheese onto the broccoli, and cook another 8-10 minutes. Season to taste.
Yield: 1-2 servings