Friday, May 15, 2009

dinner elf

Mom wandered over to the kitchen and helped out with dinner today, washing some fresh parsley and tomatoes for me. I did the rest, but as with lunch, it was great to see Mom actually wanting to get back into the household bustle. Finding more such ways to recruit her, to keep her plugged into the pulse of domestic existence, is, I think, crucial for her intellectual, psychological, and physical health. Maqz the chihuahua keeps her company, and that's good, too, even though he's taken to pooping on our downstairs carpet. (Is it time to ship him off to the Dog Whisperer? And did anyone see that hilarious Dog Whisperer parody on "South Park"?)

Dinner was a chicken-and-couscous affair, with healthy chunks of chicken tossed in butter and olive oil, seasoned and browned, with halved figs and raisins added during the latter part of the cooking process. Once the heat was turned off, I tossed in some halved red seedless grapes. The couscous, meanwhile, was done up with boiling chicken stock plus a bit of butter and olive oil, and I kept the cold ingredients-- feta cheese and chopped tomatoes in olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing-- off to the side. When it came time to plate, the couscous went down as a bed with a caldera in the middle; the hot chicken mixture went into the caldera, then the tomatoes and feta were added to the top of the chicken. Very tasty. I should have taken a picture.

I'm not sure whether Mom feels ready to cook unsupervised. She interrupted the microwave defrosting procedure twice, each time having forgotten what was going on in the oven. She may have sensed her own incapacity; after she washed the parsley and tomatoes for me, she said, "Tell me if you need me for anything else," and went back to the TV.

Sean visited earlier in the day; he brought his own lunch, so he didn't witness Mom's activity in the kitchen. He also left before dinner, so he missed Mom's later performance, too. But Sean stayed by Mom's side the entire time he was here, watching TV with her, talking with her, and enjoying Maqz's presence as much as she did.

Post scriptum: dinner wasn't the only source of bounty. Our fireplace mantel is now close to overflowing with cards (thanks, as always, to all the kind folks who have sent them). We appreciate all the well-wishes, even though I feel a pang whenever someone expresses hope for Mom's complete recovery. There is no complete recovery from GBM, but I understand the optimistic and charitable spirit in which such sentiments are expressed. For us, for this moment, it's enough to look forward to Mom's next birthday and to the next Mother's Day. We've got one year to reach those milestones. From now until then, it's all about the little milestones, like having Mom rediscover her kitchen savvy. Mom's star turn-- as resident dinner elf on Thursday evening-- was a good beginning.

Mom's coordination has also greatly improved over the past month. She no longer flails her arms the way she did during her first week or so back home from surgery. Now she needs to work a bit on her balancing problems. For that, she needs to walk around more. We're working on that. Some of Mom's close friends want to take her out and around, and I think that's an excellent idea. First, it keeps Mom away from the TV and provides her with natural ambient stimuli. Second, being outside the house means she can't retreat from her situation to find comfort on her living room couch; she'll have to deal with reality. I hope I don't sound like a sadist, but I do feel Mom needs a change of scenery, plus more opportunities to interact with live people. TV is a poisonously passive medium; "interaction" isn't the word I'd use to describe humanity's relationship with the goggle box.



Charles said...

Not to focus on the mundane here (although I have a feeling I know what you'll say about that), but that dinner sounds awesome. I'm going to have to try that sometime. I think we even have some figs lying around somewhere.

I'm also glad to hear that your Mom is trying to get back into the swing of things.

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good to hear that your mother is improving, Kevin.

By the way, your blog title, "Kevin's Walk," seems to have has taken on an additional metaphorical meaning.

Jeffery Hodges

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