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“She discovered with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children, but because of the friendship formed while raising them.” - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that give rise to the greatest delight.
Last week for instance: my eldest daughter Stephanie sent me a recipe. Away from home, studying in her second year at university, she sent it via email.
“Last night I made this really awesome salad for dinner and just thought I’d share the recipe – invented by moi,” she wrote.
I know it’s normal for parents to worry a little when a child first leaves home. We wonder if they’ll be alright. If they’re ready for independent living. Will they take care of themselves? Pay their bills on time? Manage the workload? Get along with roommates? Eat well?
Last year, Stephanie lived in residence and ate her meals in the university’s various cafeterias. But this year she’s sharing a house with three other girls. It’s a lovely little place and together they’re making it a home. Since September the girls have combined their culinary talents to create meals together, but they also host friends, and cook for themselves individually.
My daughter seems to have inherited the “foodie” gene. She loves pouring over recipe books and trying new things in the kitchen as much as I do. Since she’s been away she’s called or emailed a few times to ask for recipes or let me know about some of the things she’s made. “Spent all day in the kitchen making veggie lasagna and homemade dinner rolls,” she told me one weekend. “I made muffins!” she enthused on another. “The house smells heavenly and my tummy is happy!”
But the arrival of last week’s recipe in my inbox caused me to pause and reflect; for it was the first time my now-adult daughter has ever sent a recipe to me. And that simple act on her part signified a deeper reality: we share a whole lot more than just DNA. We have common interests. We hold similar values. She is my daughter. But she is also my friend.
And she is indeed doing all right.
Stephanie’s Christmas-y Couscous
- chicken thighs stir fried & cut into small strips
- lots and lots and lots and lots of parsley (at least 1 1/2 cups of the big leaf Italian parsley)
- seeds of 1 pomegranate
- lime juice, olive oil & pepper to taste