Do you ever have one of those days that feel like a special gift? It was a morning that I will admit did not start off on a good note. With every week since the New Year bringing a day off here and a day off there, a week here, and another few days off there I was excited for this Monday when the kids would at last be back in school for a normal week. I was prepared mentally to get my routine back and have the house to myself.
That is until I got the phone call from the nurse saying that my daughter wasn't feeling great. Off I go to pick her up from school. The next morning I was preparing myself to try the routine thing all over again. Madison woke up with a stomach ache. I forced her to go to school. She was up, not nauseous but also not feeling great. Just give it a try, I pleaded definitely too forcefully. She left. Then, Aidan wakes and starts barraging me with questions about his math test that day. It's 6:45 in the morning. My brain can't compute math this early. Logan begins whining about not wanting to go to school. Gary is telling me this and that needs to be done. And, the texts from Madison begin. What did kids do before cell phones? You know what they did. They stayed at school!
I'm not feeling well. I'm in the bathroom. I don't think I can make it through the day. And, finally, the phone rings. Can you come get me? Argh. There goes my plans for the day. I'm pissed. I'm mad at myself for being pissed. Excuse my language. I go ballistic and call Gary to say that I'm done. I've had it. I need peace and quiet. I need to work. I need to do my own thing. In my head, I'm saying stop acting like a baby. Yet, on the outside, I am steaming and going off. So, I go to the school to get Madison who really did look bad. I told her not to touch my radio. My show was on. It's Mr. Tony time. I'm a Loyal Little and there is no coming between me and TK (if you're a Little then you know what I mean). Fine, she says. And, then I thought what a mean mom I am. I really should be a little more sympathetic. Maybe a lot more.
We came home and I did a little work on the computer, cleaned up the kitchen, and did some laundry. She asked if she could watch a movie, and I decided I would finish up what I had and come sit with her. And, that is when the gift I didn't deserve was given to me.
Life with a teenager can be difficult often. They talk back. They think they know better than you. They never listen when you ask them to do something or do it halfway and wonder why in the world you're so angry when they say they're done. Add to it having to nag about homework, grades, etc., you wonder how you will get through the years. There has to be a light somewhere down this narrow tunnel.
Lately, however, I have begun to see a growing maturity in my budding woman. She actually now comes to sit in the kitchen and wants to talk to me while I cook. She tells me about her friends and social life, her dreams and ambitions when we drive in the car or sit at the table after dinner. I'm really beginning to enjoy this time. When I sat down with Madison yesterday, she came over to sit near me and laid her head down in my lap. This is my child who is the least affectionate of all. And, yet, for a long while we sat with her head in my lap while I stroked her wonderfully smelling head of hair. I was reminded of those days when she was five and would do anything to get me to sit down with her and cuddle. She loved to have her head and tummy rubbed and followed me around like a lost puppy. She wrote notes telling me how much she loved me or sorry for making such a mess. She smiled all of the time, well, most of the time. She hated to be away from me.
Those days are so few and far between that and I am filled with the regret of knowing I didn't appreciate them as much as I should have. You get so caught up with the day to day and taking care of everyone while trying to find time for yourself that those days become numbered and you didn't realize how close you are to zero. And, here I was spending the morning complaining about not having time to myself. What an ingrate I am! So, I relished my quiet time with my girl all by ourselves, not happy that she was feeling bad but happy that she was home. Thankful for this gift.
With the weather being so wet and and cold yesterday, we were due for some good comfort food to wind down our peaceful and cozy afternoon. One of my favorite meals of the quick and easy variety is a very healthy helping of warm quinoa with vinegar beans. Green beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans to be exact. Almost all of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry with the exception of fresh green beans. I always keep cans of cannellini and chickpeas stocked in my pantry. I also always have on hand red wine vinegar and quinoa. Who can't get enough quinoa? The entire meal can be prepared and in your bowls in less than 30 minutes. If you're quick and familiar with it, it will only take about 20 minutes. There is no chopping, no sautéing. Just cook the quinoa, blanch the green beans, warm your beans with the vinegar, and add some fresh chopped parsley. Oh, yeah. You will have to chop the parsley or you can leave it off altogether! It's warm, filling, and so nice on a cold, wet night.
Green Beans with Chickpeas and Cannellini over Quinoa
A comforting bowl of beans cooked in vinegar and paprika served over a hot bowl of cooked quinoa. It's a delightful vegan meal that can be served up in 20 minutes.
- 2 cups fresh green beans
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans
- 15 ounce can chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- to taste salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 1/2 cup, chopped (optional) fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside until ready to be served.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the green beans and boil for two minutes. Drain immediately and set aside.
3. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and paprika, sautéing until fragrant. Add in the chickpeas and cannellini beans, stirring to coat with the garlic and paprika mixture. Stir in the red wine vinegar and cook until the beans are heated thoroughly.
4. For each serving, spoon cooked quinoa into a bowl. Top with the bean mixture and add the green beans over top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time:15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings