There is more work to do than ever. There are more play dates to coordinate, more vacation days to fill, more birthday presents to buy. More house projects. More work projects. More dog hair. More spoiled leftovers.
I never had illusions that both kids going to school would answer my longings for more, more, more. But I did think I was gaining, if not a tree, then a stout stump where I could set up my laptop. A reliable piece of property.
It’s more like a plank, I’m finding. Five or so hours a day can feel whittled down, lean. Sometimes it’s akin to a good-sized bamboo cutting board with space to pivot and room enough to pile up the diced eggplant. Others, it feels like a particle-board shelf that bends under the weight of all those college textbooks.
Even after a flimsy, bendy day, I still had time to stroke the dog’s head this evening though, wondering if the kids will take me up on a game of Uno and watching them as they didn’t, choosing instead to play my son’s made-up game with its levels and unearthly powers and personalized power tools.
I bought this halloumi because it’s from a farm in town that I love. Back in the preschool years, my son and I spent a morning with a group of friends trampling the long grass and watching them feed the young goats with giant bottles. At the end, they handed out slices of lavender goat cheddar.
I haven’t fried fat portions of halloumi yet but I will tomorrow. I’ll look for its mozzarella-like strands. I predict, if what I’ve read turns out to be true, that I’ll watch in wonder as it cooks in the skillet. You can fry it up, golden brown, like a piece of French toast or a slab of tofu, I hear. Will it be good over slivered kale, warmed until it’s limp? Will the mint that held on another few days turn out to be a happy accident? I think so, since halloumi is traditionally wrapped in mint leaves. Maybe I’ll add a fried egg on top.
My lunch plans bring me joy, enough that I’m able to receive good news. Like the fact that my son’s stomach flu symptoms ceased after only a few hours. And that the vet’s office called to tell us a follow-up test turned up negative.
That’s the way. Sometimes time is given back. An extra cutting surface, a sharp little paring knife.