Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hearts and stomachs

This morning, I watched the routine at my mother's house. She went across the alley to check on my grandparents. We listened to the morning news. The dogs were fed, the cats were fed. Her husband left for work - "Don't forget your lunch!" admonished my mother.

Making meals for a loved one seem to me like an excellent way to express one's love. It's convenient - they don't have to meal plan or cook - and often it is healthier than other options. Being cooked for can have a dramatic impact on one's health - my mother's husband lost over fifty pounds the first year they lived together.

I am visiting my mother and grandparents this week. I have been really struck by how much care revolves around food: my mother packs lunch and cooks an evening dinner for her husband every day, and most days cooks a mid-day dinner for her parents. Cooking and other care for her parents is a task she shares with a sister and a brother's girlfriend.

Seeing all this food-caring makes me wishful in two ways. One, I wish I had more time so I could take care of my own partner by cooking healthful meals. Two, I wish my partner would take care of me by planning and cooking our meals. There are obstacles to both wishes. But being reminded of how good cooking can be, perhaps these obstacles can be overcome.

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