Minestrone Soup on a Thursday
Minestrone soup on a Thursday afternoon. My mom is sitting across from me and my sister is dancing across the street. Every week for the past year I spend one day a week with my mom waiting for my sister’s ballet class to finish. She’s exhausted every method of trying to pass the time productively, but I’ve been exhausting every method of procrastinating the time away. Today we skip the coding lessons, the homework sessions the French training and jump straight into food.
I’ve always wondered why it was called Panera Bread. I assumed they had good bread but who’s Panera? I’m a very basic kid. I know what I like and I eat what I like. Ham and cheese on a roll with butter. No lettuce and no tomatoes. Those only serve to add color but I’m more concerned about eating the food in front of me. I get a side of chips with their homemade lemonade and finish it all off with one of their soft cookies.
My mother was born in Spain and moved to France when she was young. She lived there for twenty years before moving to the United States. It must have been scary moving to a country that speaks a language you aren’t fluent in. She says she missed her family the most, and I believe her.
But I would bet the food wouldn’t be too far behind. Whenever we visited Europe we would be treated to paella, quiche, omelette de pomme de terre and other classic Spanish dishes most people would love to try. That wasn’t my style. No way. Give me bread, ham and cheese and I’m all set. On hindsight I feel embarrassed for rejecting food cooked from my grandma who has 60 years of cooking under her belt.
Today I am eating minestrone soup. I don’t know what minestrone soup is, but my mom insisted I have it. I’m stubborn, but I understand the importance of listening to your mom every now and again to convince her she’s in control. Red and thick with big clumps of what I can only assume are vegetables. It reminded me of a poorly blended pasta sauce. But it taste good- great even.
Kids my age ate chicken noodle soup when they didn’t feel well. Where my mom was from they ate minestrone soup instead. It’s seems pavloninly bad to eat soup only when you’re sick, it must be a lot more difficult to enjoy when you’re healthy. I wasn’t sick, at least that I was aware of, I wonder what my mom saw in my that I didn’t.
It has been just three of us for a year now. A year of going to my sister’s ballet classes, and a year of her having to come to my soccer games. I wonder what the right age is to let your kids stay home by themselves. The older I get the older I think it is. Kids are dumb, at least I was a kid who did dumb things. I barely trusted myself alone so I don’t know how I would trust someone else.
My mom looked like she could use some minestrone soup. She does most days. How does a kid protect his mom? Is a kid supposed to protect his mom? The role of a kid is so vague. School isn’t a job, and enjoying yourself is too open ended. There is no objective to being a kid. Maybe that’s what makes it being a kid.
Mom, explain to me the difference between -ir and -re verbs in French again?
I couldn’t fix her problems, but the least I could do was let her fix mine. One bowl of minestrone soup at a time.