Cooking is My Coping Skill

It was a while into that moment between asleep and awake before Nathan and I realized we were waking because it was morning, and not because a child was knocking on the door.

We just laid there, and looked at each other, and felt kind of run over.

But then we got up and did what we always do: our morning routine, our individual study, and breakfast.

I decided that this year has been full enough of grief, so today may have a familiar pang but would not drown me.

I decided to do the one thing all the women before me could do, no matter the sting of circumstance: cook.

While comfort food would have been an easy trap today, we made it happen with healthy choices from the start. I went to the garden and picked some peppers and tomatoes and dug up some onions, and scrambled them into eggs and put them in cheese tortillas with some salsa. On lunch break, I grilled sliced summer sausage with peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms. Then I made a savory gluten free zucchini bread with herbs from the garden, and so for dinner we had BLT’s with kale and spinach instead of lettuce.

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The sun finally came out, mostly, and the day tasted like summer.

It stung a little, but we know it is as it should be, and that this is how fostering goes.

I just don’t know yet, I told my friend, if fostering eases the pain of not being able to have children and the miscarriages we have experienced, or if it just picks at the scab.

Or maybe, maybe it is that we really are okay, but 2013 has just carved a determined scar of grief across our souls, and live will never be the same.

Not the same, but okay. Good, even.

So we trudged through work, trying to breathe. Adjusting. Settling in to this rhythm of come and go. Resting from the hard soul work of pouring our life energy into another for three weeks.

I was grateful all my families at work were distracted by school starting, so that meeting their needs was more of a temporal issue this week than an emotional one.

Now that work is finished, we have nothing to distract us. We have cleaned the kids room, changed the sheets, and put all the clothes and toys back into their age-assigned tubs. The room is ready for the next child.

Breathing.

So tonight we dance, because dancing is what we do.

Well, now dancing is what we do on Thursday nights when we do not have kids in the house.

Except that dancing is something we always do in the kitchen, kids or no kids.

Because it is true, that dancing is what we do.

But tonight is date night, so we will celebrate and enjoy every kidless moment while we have the chance… if we can stay awake past 8, anyway.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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