This post is dedicated to everyone who struggles for the safety and freedom to be who they are. And to everyone who, in the midst of their fight, reaches out in kindness and solidarity to create a community.
”It’s supposed to be sooo great to have babies but it sounds like it causes a lot of problems that I keep hearing about,” said my youngest the other day in a cheeky tone. She may have overheard a conversation I had with my physical therapist that went something like this, “Can you fix this? TELL ME YOU CAN FIX THIS!”
I told my daughters that though I hesitate to give advice, (false) and we don’t always have control over life’s events, (true) it would seem that it’s preferable to have children at a younger age – younger than I was, anyway. I had my second at 35, so I was presented with a brochure titled, “Questions You May Have about Your Geriatric Pregnancy.” First question: where can I burn this brochure?
“So now would be a good time to have a baby?” said my 17 year old, “Because I literally have nothing else to do.” Okay, why didn’t I think of that?! Remember when I said that pandemic deprivation had made me long for either a basketful of kittens or a fertility loan so I could get pregnant with one of those 3 remaining eggs that are past expiration (what’s after a geriatric pregnancy?)? Clearly, we need something to focus on and cuddle.
My daughter is young and healthy, likes babies, and really, when is she ever going to have this much time again? She’s a high achiever who wants to study neuropsychology…wait, bioneurology?…phychoneuroses? Anyway, something that involves endless hours in a lab getting rickets because you haven’t seen sun since your high school grad party. Now is the moment! My husband is working from home. If he can use words like “process-oriented” in zoom meetings, while drinking coffee, he can change a diaper and Skype.
And what a brave, new, weird, world we will be bringing my grandchild into. In terms of social inclusion, it’s a drastically altered landscape from the one I grew up in. Marriage equality? Who’d have thought it? A woman president? Who’d have…oh wait, scratch that. It’s a step forward and three back: America is also a nation at war with itself, fractured over social issues and (because there’s always something new to hate over) even fighting over the best way to combat a virus (we’re all scientists now – no degrees required!). On the upside, there’s the widespread use of cilantro.
I was raised in a world where cilantro was either unheard of, or suspect. The use of quinoa would have outed you as a communist sympathizer. The other night my children gleefully pointed out to me that I had just made an LGBTQ salad, and just in time for Pride month! In this case, LGBTQ stands for: lettuce, (roasted) garbanzos, bacon, tomato and quinoa. Make it with pride! Or even wear it with pride, when you spill a little on your “Make America Gay Again” shirt.
The salad is simple, and the ingredients are contained in the title, though I did add avocado. This one had turkey bacon, but use what you like. Here’s a version of green goddess dressing that really makes this salad sing. And what will it sing? “I Will Survive,” of course.
I cup plain yogurt
2 cups of herbs such as parsley, mint, lovage, tarragon or cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped chives (approximately)
juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a bit more olive oil if needed. You may want capers in the dressing, or as a topping. If you use them, wait to add salt until you determine how much saltiness the capers lend to it. Adjust the tartness and saltiness to your taste.