No Frills / by Anne

Onions from Mom's Garden Well,  I do love complicated meals with surprising spices and architectural elements.  But a moment during a simple, elemental meal with hardly any ingredients at all, shared with someone I love, can fill me all the way to my toes. 

Today for lunch, my little Rosalie and I had just a can of tortilla soup along with freshly mashed avocado on a new kind of bread.  Something about this simply filled me with joy.  What was it?  She was over there playing with her toy animals, inventing unintelligible stories for them as usual, and I was over in the kitchen squishing avocado with a fork.  I just imagined what it was like—to be playing one of your favorite games and then realizing that your mom is over there making you some food you enjoy.  Now, I know.  Toddlers cannot have the perspective to appreciate this, per se.  But in my boots, feeling the warm love in the room sure made me appreciate it. 

So, we had this basic, unexciting lunch that I whipped up in a matter of minutes—and yet, we sat down and ate together and it felt so fulfilling, for no particular reason. It was a calm and pleasant lunch.  I don’t have to teach her many table manners.  For some reason she’s particularly okay with watching us at the table and going along with protocol.  Sometimes I think she has better table manners than us.  She certainly has better posture.  Each bite she takes is filled with focused enjoyment.

Anyway, she decided she liked the soup more than the avocado sandwich, so I gave her lots of my soup and asked her if I could have some of her sandwich.  She picked up a piece of it, and for a moment I thought she was going to shove it in her own mouth, now that she realized it was a hot ticket item.  But instead she handed it to me.  It was a very good piece of sandwich.

After lunch we sat at the back door and watched a hailstorm.  We stared out at the backyard for a good 15 minutes, just chatting about what we saw.  No frills.  A perfect lunch.