We made it out the door and on our plane! We are now gone for two weeks which is the longest we’ve vacated in many, many years. Currently, I am typing in the back row of a small aircraft. We lay overed in Minneapolis where Margot worked through a full range of emotions on Terminal F when I said no to a blueberry muffin. Although it really had nothing to do with the muffin and everything to do with the stress of traveling all day, the day after her mom and dad ran around like those bugs that skeet on water (skeeters?) but not as elegantly. I slept 2 1/2 hours last night. We’re cooked and the muffin denial released some feelings. I had just read about a method for addressing unsatisfied wants in kids where the parent takes empathy and creates a story — specifically, the story the kid wants to have happen. One articulates the child’s desired outcome because when she imagines her brain actually feels it as if it were so. It helps move kids through what they want and into what’s really there. I said You really want that muffin. You love blueberry muffins so much. You would eat the shit out of that muffin and all the muffins in Minnesota right now, right? They are so good! Except of course I didn’t say shit but my message was that enthused and invested. It worked so well. She softened and cried about leaving our animals for two weeks. We hugged and played tag.
Margot then chose the most expensive milk we’ve every bought, as named by Andy. It was a tiny carton of organic 2% and it was $4. Ruby then desperately wanted milk just as the last call for boarding to New Orleans bleated overhead. We didn’t have as much time to give Ruby’s frustration but I know it came from a similar place. I spun her into the backpack and we all shuffled toward our plane. Single file like this: Andy with 17 bags slung over every surface of his body, me with a sad kid on my back and a pyramid of water bottles, art supplies and baby dolls on my front, Margot with her milk.
Margot didn’t drink her milk. Andy carried it on the plane and sweetly asked her once every two minutes or so if she wanted a sip, his eyes wildly determined to make good on that $4. Ruby didn’t want the milk either. The plane rolled forward, Andy stuck the milk in his seat pocket. He was tense. Honey I said, getting ready to declare LET THE MILK GO. IT’S HOLDING YOU BACK. But after I said honey he turned and his knee smashed into the milk which geysered straight up and all over his legs.
I haven’t laughed like that in a long time. I had tears and aching abs. He laughed too. And the kids. It was perfect.
The girls have been lulled to sleep by the giant engine that is holding us in the sky. Just as we took off Ruby yelled Mama! Dada! Look I am see the whole entire world out this tiny window! I cannot wait for this vacation.
I’ll leave you with this recipe we brought for plane snacks and have been devouring for the last few weeks. Interestingly, after 15 years with an almond allergy, I am no longer allergic. I had a hunch so I ate a nut. And, holy smokes, I didn’t have a reaction. I went nuts! I immediately began cooking with nuts to make up for all that lost nuttiness. Here’s my simple oven roasted recipe that is honestly out of this world.
Balsamic Honey Roasted Almonds
4 cups raw almonds
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl whisk honey and balsamic together. Add nuts and stir to coat.
Spread over a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5-8 minutes.
Pay particular attention to the nuts on the edges. Those edgy nuts burn easily. They are done when toasty brown with a satiny sheen. We toss ours with raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apricots and peanuts.