Wednesday, September 12, 2012
It's Just Broccoli
My youngest moved out of the dorm and into a college-owned townhouse at the beginning of this school year, and as a result has been eating in the dining hall less and cooking more. I finally finished copying the recipes for her red binder (Recipes), so she has that with her. But there are a lot of little things that aren't in there. Sunday afternoon we were talking on the phone, and she asked how long you could keep broccoli in the fridge and how much she should cook for one person--she was worried she was eating too many carbs and not enough veggies. After our conversation, she headed off to the little local grocery store in search of broccoli. Around dinner time, I got a text saying, "so to cook broccoli, do you just put it in a pot of water?" I texted back a few instructions, and she replied, "okay thanks hope i can make it like you." I smiled to myself thinking, It's just broccoli. A little while later I got back-to-back texts; the first one said, "it's good!" and then came the one that has stayed with me all week: "tasted like home :) ." I came to realize that it wasn't "just broccoli"; it was my college-age daughter taking care of herself, eating her veggies, and carrying forward into her life-away-from-home something I never even realized I was passing along. Broccoli is the one vegetable everybody in our family likes; I can't imagine how many florets I've cut and cooked over the years. But to me, it was always just something to go along with the meal, something I fixed almost without thinking about it. I never thought about it "tasting like home." And maybe that's a good lesson for those of us in the process of letting go of our kids--they're going to be just fine; they have picked up and taken with them all the things they want and need most.