Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tonsils and Crumbles

There are days of early summer that amble along like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo on a mushroom hunt, one moment leaning into the next with no discernible segue.  I love those rare days, when I can look back and feel accomplished despite the open boxes on my to-do list.

This was not one of those days.  No, today, my youngest son got his tonsils out.  And, his adenoids.  And, his ears drained and sinus-something-or-another reduced.  He's the last of the three boys to get a tonsilectomy, and I was finally able to tell Dr. Parker that we have run out of children upon which to operate.
My husband, Chad, and I got our two older sons up at 5:45 to quickly have some breakfast and scoot out the door with Westley still in his Rocket To Mars jammies.  Chad went in to the O.R. to watch as our little baby (he's a 44-pound 4-year-old, if I'm being honest) was put into a phony sleep for his procedure.  Then, he grabbed Gabi to get him to school to accept an award for having good attendance this year.  I must admit I was nervous this time.  Everything had gone perfectly with the first two, and I felt I was pushing my luck.  I cannot say just how very thankful I was to hear Westley yelling as he awoke from anesthesia!  Brenner and I spent the day with Westley in our tiny cubicle, mostly all together in the gurney, watching Nick Jr.  We were finally able to go home at three o'clock, so we clambered in the minivan so Chad could chauffeur us home.

The remainder of the day was blissfully low-key.  More Nick Jr.  More sorbet.  More cuddles on the couch.

I had thought it would be a tasteless day -- that I wouldn't have the energy to cook, and we'd end up having Three Sisters' Marshmallow Oaties cereal for dinner again like we did last night.  Delicious, of course, but better for breakfast. I'd made a point of stocking up at Whole Foods, though, in preparation for the week of recuperation, so I went with it.

I'm so glad I did, too, because I've ended up having a perfectly wonderful experience!

The weather is, despite a little hair-curling humidity, of a temperature most agreeable for dining al fresco.  My kids, of course, refuse to eat anything, but Chad and I relaxed on the deck with our plates.  I took the recipe for Endive and Mushroom Salad with Mustard Dressing right out of the Simple French Cooking cookbook by Williams-Sonoma and paired it with roasted cauliflower drizzled with creamy balsamic vinaigrette.  Just to be pretty, I fashioned finger-sandwiches out of whole wheat bread smeared with mayonnaise, mustard or pesto, then topped with thinly sliced radishes.  (As of yet, the radishes are my only harvest from the garden.  I am growing impatient!) My sister-friend Luba, out for a stroll with her kids, stopped by to play for a while and to chat.  So delightful.

Back inside, Chad had cleared the table and rinsed all the dishes, as is his custom.  The peaches my step-daughter and one of the boys (which one?) insisted on buying were going soft in their bowl on the kitchen island.  Hmm...

Another friend, Pamela, had lent me The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and there just happened to be a recipe for Peach Crumble in there.  Why not spend the remaining hour-and-a-half of the day in the kitchen?  I mean, it is my favorite place in the whole universe!

"What'cha doin'?" asked Chad with his brows a little quizzical, glancing at Alicia's book on the counter.

"Makin' peach crumble," I grinned.

I couldn't tell if he shook his head in immense adoration for my dedication to housewifery or if he thought I was nuts to decide that eight-fifteen in the evening was a good time to start baking.  Either way, I know he'll spoon the stuff up in one sitting if I let him, so I'm going to take his look as appreciation.

In any case, despite needing to substitute banana-crunch granola for the rolled oats and arrowroot for the kuzu, the crumble came out just fine.  It would be perfect with my homemade (Peace Tree Cinnamon Cajeta Caramel) ice cream, if only I'd made that, too.  And, as a bonus, the oat topping is so delicious that I adapted it as a separate entity.  How delicious to roll the sticky-sweet stuff in cocoa powder and eat it as candy!

Even the chickens made out pretty well, gobbling up the cake-pan of discarded peach skins I left for them.

My little guy is going to wake up sore tomorrow, and I'll spoon feed him yogurt with one hand while I make school lunches with the other.  The last day of school will drift by, I hope, like one of those meandering summer days that this one was not.  The thing about having a child recovering from surgery is that you have to take the time off from everything else to tend to him.  We will cuddle on the couch with a sippee cup of apple juice in my lap and let the day go by.  The dust-bunnies will collect, and I will let them sit there, unswept.  Gabi and Brenner will leap from the bus, greeting their official start of summer with unbounded enthusiasm, ready for the first lemonade stand of the season.  In the evening, I'll give up canoodling on the couch long enough make dinner, then tuck my son into his plaid quilt and Elmo blankie.

In a couple weeks we'll be off and running again.  But, tonight, I will allow the aroma of cooked peaches send me off to dreamland.

I wish for the health and care of every child.

I am thankful that my precious little son is sleeping soundly.

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