Turns out this particular evening no one cried. But there was only one daughter present which reduces the chances of tears considerably. Daughter 1.0 spent the night at her boyfriend’s house, which she does as often as possible these days. Never on a school night, that’s pretty much our only rule. Funny how for us the process of watching our daughters grown up involves an ever loosening of the rules. On days when I think I’m a good parent I would say we are giving our daughters increasing responsibilities in the hopes that they will one day (soon) be functioning, independent adults. Other days I chalk it up to exhaustion.
Daughter 2.0 was sick this weekend. Runny nose, coughing, aches and pains turned into a fever by Saturday afternoon. There’s something so basic about caring for a sick child. Not a truly sick child, not a child with one of those catastrophic or rare diseases that could keep you awake at night if you thought too much about them once you had children. But what’s required of a parent with a child suffering some run-of-the-mill childhood sickness (cold, ear infection, stomach bug) is clear and straight forward: comfort in the form of a back rub or cold compress, tea and maybe some Advil.
By Sunday evening 2.0’s fever had broken, so she sat at the dinner table with us. In a moment of what could only be considered madness my Husband mixed up the seating assignments and 2.0 ended up in his spot and he in 1.0’s chair. I was in my usual spot. Maybe this is why the world didn’t end. Or perhaps it was because 2.0 was still not fully recovered and in that post sickness docile period, as opposed to the whiney, complainy post sickness period which sometimes happens. Or maybe it was because 1.0 was not home.
We keep having practice runs for what our life will be like starting next fall when 1.0 leaves for college. It will be quiet. I won’t say it will be conflict free. My Husband and I seem to do a pretty good job of eliciting tears. But that particular sister dynamic, that intense love and hate, admiration and jealousy, won’t be there. We are already seeing a shift in the girls’ relationship, an untangling, and a friendship starting to bloom. Just in time for them to miss each other next year.
So no tears tonight. Well, maybe a couple when the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong hit a walk-off home run to defeat the Giants. On to game 3 …
Sunday dinner was easy this week. We are having our summer in San Francisco, as we always do, in October. It was too hot for an elaborate meal.
Pesto Pasta and Tomato Salad
2 parts basil leaves to 1 part italian parsley (I don’t bother carefully picking the leaves from the stems of the parsley. My husband’s grandfather, who owned an Italian restaurant in Philly, told me once that the stems have the most flavor.) for a total of about 2 cups, loosely packed
1 – 2 cloves of garlic peeled
3 Tbsp pine nuts
1/3 a cup or so of grated parmesan cheese
Salt and peper
1/2 good olive oil
I make my pesto in a food processor. If you use a blender be sure to put the oil in first followed by everything else.
Put all the ingredients except the oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for a few seconds then add the oil through the food tube and continue to process until all the oil is incorporated. That’s it; super easy! We like to serve ours on linguine, but any pasta shape works. Scoop out a cup of the pasta water just before draining. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the water to the pasta when tossing with the pesto. Serve with additional grated parmesan.
Various versions of tomato salad are a go-to in our house. Because the last of the dry farmed early girl tomatoes are so good right now, we didn’t need to do much to the tomatoes. Quarter the small tomatoes, add fresh basil, sliced white onion, a little garlic chopped fine, plenty of coarse salt and good olive oil. If the tomatoes are not acidic enough, you can add a splash of red wine vinegar.