Recipe: potato salad
I have a small 8-hour window where two of my three anti-nausea meds from yesterday’s chemo are still doing their good things (along with those awesome steroids which end today) and I don’t take the bad delirium-inducing, drugged out of my mind, anti-nausea med until this afternoon… So I am managing to squeeze in another post before all systems go down.
We sent our Mother’s Day packages earlier this week because Jeremy is bad at those things and I tend to plan ahead. I actually dislike just about any holiday that Hallmark shoves down our throats, because my preference is to send random tokens of love on any day, not on some designated Day of Guilt. And tokens they are because both of our mothers can pretty much afford whatever they want (and we generally cannot afford what they want). It would be just as silly for me to endeavor to shop for high-end jewelry for my mother as it would be for her to shop for an avalanche beacon or ice axe for me. I’m not a “I spent this much money on your present” type of person anyway. Gift-giving ought to be personal, from the heart.
This was really brought home to me after Kris passed away, leaving a 4.5 year-old son and a 10-day old baby girl. You can just imagine the presents that poured into that house on every possible occasion from family, friends, and even mere acquaintances. It made us both cringe: all of the extravagant, over-the-top, minimal-attention-span, Wall-Mart toys piling up as if a dump truck had just paid a visit. Ben literally ran from one toy to the next in such a frenzy that he developed little to no personal attachment or value to any of it. I started out making presents for the kids, but my talents are limited and how many hats, blankets, quilts, space-ship and flower pillows can you make before they get old? Eventually in the interest of time and sanity, we started to shop around for gifts – especially after my diagnosis. We wanted to select fun and educational toys to promote creative engineering juices, curiosity about nature, ties to their mother’s Chinese culture, problem solving skills. And of course, each of them has their very own plush black lab toy… a Kaweah. I must admit that we are tempted every time we pass the Mars Rover Lego set – not for the kids, but for us! Obviously, the best gift I could give those kids is the gift of time and attention, but that’s not really possible for a myriad of reasons.