...I joke that I now pity the women who start families who have not been chefs. How I wonder earnestly, how does the office worker woman who is so accustomed to her forty-hour workweek, her daily lunch hour, her in-box, and her out-box, handle all the pain and the physical contortions, and mayhem of suckling, crying, ear infections, and working if she has never had to skin a live eel, placate the angry patron at Table 7 who finds his rabbit a bit stringy, and carry an epileptic line cook off the mats who has suffered a grand mal seizure during service? How will the woman who is accustomed to great personal and bodily integrity suffer the cannibalizing feeling that nursing constantly can leave you with, as if you were being eaten alive, not in huge monster-gore chunks, but like a legion of soft, benign caterpillars makes lace of a leaf?
I thought of telling them how changing a diaper reminds me, every time, of trussing a chicken. How sleepless nights and long grueling hours under intense physical discomfort were already part of my daily routine long before I had children. How labeling every school lunch bag, granola bar, juice box, extra sweater, and nap blanket with permanent Sharpie is like what we've been doing every day for thirty years, labeling the foods in our walk-ins. How being the chef and owner of a restaurant means you have already, by definition, mastered the idea of "systems," "routines," and "protocols" so that everyone who works for you can work smart-hard rather than work stupid-hard. So that by the time you are setting up your household and preparing yourself for adding children, you have a tendency toward this kind of order, logic, and efficiency.
Multitasking -- answering questions on the phone, cooking something, and trying to monitor a line cook, while hearing your name repeated possibly six or seven hundred times in less than eight hours -- is exactly like trying to run a family and a business.
-- From Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones, & Butter
Every time I think about this passage, I wonder if something similar can be said for teachers.
|This is my maternal grandmother. She celebrates her 92nd birthday this week.|
I loved her when she wrote for Sassy, the magazine that helped me survive my adolescence, and now I read her blog, so I'm hoping she'll be there to help me survive my senescence.
There are 24 hours in a day. When I was little, that meant the day was long. I am no longer little.
I focus best when I am in a state of perpetual musical motion. Nails tap tap tap tap tap tap tap and in sequence: index middle ring pinky ring middle index middle index pinky ring middle index... Feet rock and swing and rock and swing and rock and swing. My toe spells my name in cursive left to right and then retraces the name right to left, keeping rhythm. Teeth lightly click click click click click. Pen on cheek and pat pat pat pat pat pat pat. Tug tug tug on left ear. When I am not typing on the keyboard my fingertips dance lightly in tandem as if on a piano, thumbs as base, pounding lightly on the space bar.
I do recognize that this may not contribute to the focusing abilities of those around me.
I just got a box full o' scrappy goodies yesterday from Two Peas in a Bucket, and within it was the new My Mind's Eye "Be Amazing" line, including these beauties:
You know these will be coming to a layout soon. I can't wait to play!
I have been reading Marie Arana's American Chica, and I cannot get enough of it. Her style reminds me a bit of Isabel Allende's -- lyrical, magical, appealing to the senses. Each time I open the book I am drawn into the narrative. It really is a pleasure to read.
On Wednesday, Kopecky Family Band posted a link to their KEXP studio performance on their Facebook wall, and what was there for me to do but chortle with glee (oh yeah, I chortled) and just thank my lucky stars that the soundtrack to my life includes music like this?
Tonight my husband has been tasked with acquiring me a copy of Breaking Dawn. This is how I know he loves me: he will violate his own moral standards to feed my need for otherworldly schmaltz.