Some Little Lessons I’ve Learned from Pandemic Thanksgiving + Start of Covid Christmastime

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over this Pandemic Thanksgiving + start of Covid Christmastime:   On the Wednesday before your it’s-just-us-this-year Thanksgiving, it’s really nice to cook the big meal with your kids while also not stressing about cleaning the house for company. You’ll miss the family you won’t be seeing, of course, but you will absolutely appreciate the calm. And the discovery that your twelve-year-old likes to chop vegetables.   On Thanksgiving Day, have dinner late so you can make a charcuterie board for lunch. No one will be upset about this.   On that Friday, clean the house in the morning before you start pulling out all the decorations. Yes, you’re still going to have to vacuum up the needles after all is said and done, but you can’t beat decking the halls when they’re already sparkly. (Also, somebody spilled cranberry sauce on the floor yesterday. You have to get out the mop, anyway.)   On that Saturday, there’s no shame in counting a masked-up early-morning trip to Lowe’s…

Then Anything is Possible: Happy Thanksgiving

It’s 7:15 on Sunday morning. I’ve just sat down on the couch with a newspaper and the first, and therefore most precious, cup of coffee of the day. Cian’s already here in the living room playing, and he abandons his toys when I sit to climb up beside me and rest his head on my shoulder. He says good morning, and that’s where the expected slow start to my day goes into hyperdrive. “Mom?” he says. “If anything is possible, then nothing is possible.” I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve had one–one!–sip from the hot mug of coffee I still hold in my hand. I am not ready for seven-year-old philosophy yet, but Cian’s thought process moves at a speed that requires the under-caffeinated to catch up. I think for a second. Take another sip. “But, buddy,” I say, “think about this: the word ‘any’ can be all things. Like if we talk about ‘anyone,’ we’re really talking about all people. So what does that…

Leah Cooks Easy Ramen Soup

The kids asked me the other day to name my favorite food, and I totally blanked. I had about ten different options swimming around my head, all foods that I don’t make at home–tom yum soup, risotto, even a really good slice of cheese pizza (okay, I make that, but you know it’s not the same)–but couldn’t land on a single one. The kids were incredulous. “Are you sure you don’t know your favorite?” they insisted. “And don’t say pizza.” But I was at a loss. Two days later, as I was preparing dinner (not pizza) and Quinlan was chatting with me in the kitchen, she stopped mid-sentence. “Mom. It’s NOODLES. Noodles are your favorite food!” Oh, yeah. How could I forget? She’s right. Give me a big bowl of pasta and I’m a happy lady: angel hair aglio e olio, cacio e pepe, Japanese udon, Vietnamese pho, heck, even Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese from the box–like a lot of people, noodles are my ultimate comfort food…