glutenfreegirl glutenfreegirl

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Shauna M. Ahern  welcome to our table.

One of the downsides to living on a rural island is that when your 3-year-old wakes up coughing so hard that he screams but stops screaming because he's having such a difficult time breathing, there's no clinic or urgent care to visit. So you drive him to the fire station with all the windows down, talking to him in the darkness to make sure he's okay. And then you reach the fire station.
This is where the upside of living on a rural island kicks in. The firefighters and medic who answer the door are so kind and gentle with your scared son as they open up the back of the ambulance. They ask him to hold my hand while we step in together. They explain everything they are doing, because they sense immediately how curious he is to understand how everything works. And within minutes, your son says, "Mama, I'm not scared anymore!" And you remind him once again about Mister Rogers' quote about the helpers. These are the helpers.

So are the ferry workers who divert the boat so the ambulance with us in it can go. So are the driver and medic in the ambulance waiting on the city side. They don't mind if little guy coughs so hard he throws up, repeatedly. They soothe him. And his mama. The helpers live at Children's hospital. They give the little guy steroids for his lousy bout of croup and give Mama answers. They let us sleep in a room for an hour in the ER until 4:30 am when I get us both up and walk out to a taxi. And then the taxi driver ends up being an incredibly kind, articulate retired actor. And while little guy sleeps on my chest, the driver tells me about the singular experience of seeing Hamilton in NY, original cast. Just as he is telling me about @phillipasoo's haunting voice, the last note of the musical hers, in the quiet a clear voice ringing out in the darkness, we round the corner and see the ferry and the sunrise.
I know there are mamas and dads in Manchester right now, wishing they could hold their little ones close. Sometimes, the world makes no sense. But I'm always going to look for the helpers. And be one when I can.
I'm oh so tired today. And oh so grateful.

Last evening we hung out on the beach together with friends, eating salami and cheese and watermelon we sliced open on a piece of driftwood. The kids ran and frolicked and went on hikes together, then fashioned a teeter-totter with a giant log. We talked and watched them and listened to the wild geese flying over our heads.

As my friend Sam at @vashonbakingco said as we watched our kids chase each other on a field of grass and daisies, "I had a good childhood but it wasn't like this. It wasn't this free." I agree.

I don't give one whit anymore about money or upward mobility or title or prestige. They all leave you feeling empty. But sitting on a beach with good friends, watching the kids play, and waiting until the sun started to set before heading home? This is all the wealth I need.

It's the first truly warm Saturday in recent memory. We're taking a little rest from all the games outside: croquet, whiffleball batting practice, spas, and naked chasing each other with water. (I abstained from the last one.) this is enough.

"Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers. Let me keep company always with those who say "Look!" and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads." --Mary Oliver

When I was first diagnosed with celiac, 12 years ago, the food that inspired me the most is vegetables. It's still true. With a few local exceptions for some meats and seafood, vegetables and fruits are the foods that constantly change. I'm so glad it's spring.

Seattle, May 16.
Somehow the weather here this winter and spring seems to have reflected the national state of things each week. Is it possible to impeach rainstorms?

Eight years ago today, we were at Seattle Children's hospital, enduring the 9-hour wait for Lucy's skull surgery to be done. This morning, we were back at Children's, bringing food to friends whose son just endured brain surgery. Giving love to them in that place is the only way I wanted to spend Mother's Day. And we hope that this day is, for our friends, one day a potent, distant memory too.

And so my Mother's Day brunch was at a hospital cafeteria. The food has improved in 8 years. And it was the sweetest meal of gratitude.

I am so deeply grateful for these two kids, who delight me and exhaust me, who teach me every day how to communicate clearly, who make me laugh and keep me on my toes. I'm not sure there are words to describe motherhood. It's so in-the-moment and relentless endless stretching into the future, if you are lucky. I hope I am lucky enough to have years of Friday movie night and bedtimes that take too long.

I'm thankful to my mother for raising me. I'm grateful to all the mothers who raised the people I love. I'm so grateful to Desmond's birth mother, who chose us to raise him.
And I'm so keenly aware of how hard this day is for so many. My heart goes to you.
We're all born of mothers. How different the world would be if we acted on that knowledge.

My annual photographic reminder of rhubarb's beauty.

Lu playing catcher, Saturday afternoon, Little League. Life is good.

We are absolutely mad about @clarkbar's new cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game. Melissa has always been one of the recipe developers I trust the most. Her palate and meticulous work make for delicious meals. I read her @nytimes column every week. But this book is even better. Ever made shredded tofu? I never had before reading this book. Now I make it every week. And this green tahini dip has topped every protein and vegetable I have eaten this week. We offered our own adaptation of the recipe on @feedingourpeople this week. We hope to spread the green tahini dip fervor to everyone. And you should buy this book.

Yes, @newyorkercartoons. Thank you.

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