I didn’t post yesterday because, as we all know, it was Mother’s Day so I took the day off to putter. For me, to “putter” is to allow myself to follow my inclinations rather than the list I make everyday to help me accomplish my tasks. Concomitantly, puttering means not deferring my needs to the needs of others.
Puttering by inclination I do fairly regularly – on weekend days if my husband has to work or on “retreat” days, which I do about once a month to reflect, recharge, and refocus. But the “not deferring my needs to the needs of others” aspect really only happens for me on Mother’s Day and my birthday. This is not because the people in my life make inordinate demands upon me on a regular basis. No, I think it is just the nature of finding myself to be the “nurturer” of our home.
Whether we have children or not, whether our children are still at home or not, who ever is around us naturally gets nurtured … spouses, pets, neighbors. Maybe we go into our communities and help the elderly or volunteer to read to small children. Maybe we find ourselves mentoring young women or offering encouragement and advice to young men. To nurture might involve making sure your spouse doesn’t run out of his/her favorite body lotion, or baking a banana loaf for your widowed neighbor.
What does this have to do with “Cooking with Mom” you might ask? Well, as I was puttering about yesterday, doing what I wanted, when I wanted, I thought a lot about my two sons and how blessed I feel to be a part of their lives. And, how much of a privilege it was to nurture them in their growing years … and how much food was a part of that nurturing. This blog was born out of my son Mitchell’s love of my special dishes, made for him and his brother as kids … and still make for them when they come home to visit. For me, offering food is a primal nurturing act of love.
And, I think about my own mother and how comforting it is to sit down to a bowl of her homemade vegetable soup or a dinner of her fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a big bowl of lettuce tossed in sour cream and vinegar. I couldn’t feel more loved.
So, Nurturers of this world, I say to you,
Give yourselves a hug for all you do for the people and creatures around you. Recognize your power as agents of love in all those things you do – some very big things, which are easy to applaud – but especially the small things, the everyday things you do so naturally that nurture so deeply and have such long lasting effect.
“Happy Nurturer’s Day” to you – you know who you are!
Eat well. Be happy.