For JEL and JJ and Daughter #2 who all got me through.
I have just made the realization that Daughter #2 really needs to be in the CIA. She should be a spy. She should be some sort of profession where they are trying to BREAK your spirit because the girl, at age 6, is nearly unbreakable. Friend SH, often describes Daughter #2 as having "great follow through." That's a very polite way of saying super fixated and stubborn.
But I didn't know the depths and breadth of Daughter #2's spirit, until this past weekend, where she literally almost broke ME. In a bizarre twist of events, Daughter #2 decided to lie about saying something. What she said was truly insignificant, nothing of import, and nothing harmful. But for whatever reason, when asked about whether she had said it, she flat out adamantly denied it. I did not have a problem with what she said, but I was very concerned about the fact that she lied about saying it. And the lie snowballed over a 6 hour period, where I would gently prod her towards confession and she was adamant about not having said it. After calling another friend and confirming, I had to sit her down and confront her with the facts.
"Daughter #2, sit up please. I need to talk to you."
"You need to sit up. I just got off the phone with Auntie J and what do you think she told me?"
The look on Daughter #2's face when she realized that her goose was cooked, after 6 hours of denying it, and quite possibly convincing herself that she hadn't said the statement, is a look that I will not soon forget. I was gentle the whole time, but I was trying to get to the root of WHY she felt the need to lie. She clearly felt that I wanted to hear something else than what the truth was, and chose to deliver the lie instead. I repeatedly expressed to her that what she said wasn't a problem at all, but the lying, her choice to lie, and her decision to continue lying and denying the truth was a problem. The guilt on her face and the devastation at being caught was almost too much for her to bear.
"Now that mommy knows the truth, how do you feel now?"
"I'm BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!! I'm so BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!" and the sobs just exploded from her body as she became the most wretched soul on the planet.
I gently took her into my arms, and explained the whole meaning of mercy. She did something wrong, but that she would be forgiven. That I forgave her, that I still loved her, and that she was free from whatever wrong she had committed. Furthermore, that even as she lied, God still loved her. And that He also forgave her. We said an "I'm sorry" prayer together and I hugged her tightly as I knew that the lesson was hard for her (but let me tell you how hard it was for me.)
Some might ask, why did I pursue it so long and hard if it was such an insignificant statement to begin with? I'm not sure. My gut told me that if I let it go and believe me, I really wanted to, that it would just be a message that such decisions to lie would be okay. And the next lie would be something bigger. I'm glad that I did pursue it as the teachable moment for her was great and her first experience with true mercy, powerful
I learned a lot from this experience, that at the end of the day, we all make mistakes. And those mistakes still need to be presented to God...not for HIM, but for us. In order to experience mercy, we must ask forgiveness...and to do that, is to know a little bit more of the Father's heart.
After the emotionally draining day, I could barely get my head around planning a week's worth of food. Friend SH came over with some leftovers from her weekend, and smoked salmon was one of her items. After foraging in my fridge and pantry I decided to do a cream based pasta with the salmon. I whipped it up in no time, and the result - so yummy good. After my emotionally trying weekend, total comfort. The simple elegance of the ingredients means that it would be great for a casual dinner party and I assure you, it will be eaten up.
Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta with Capers, Scallions and Lemon Zest
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound pasta like penne, farfalle, rotini, fusilli
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
¾ cup of heavy cream OR ½ cup chicken stock for a dairy free option
1 cup to 1 ½ cups smoked salmon (or leftover baked salmon), finely chopped (use what you have)
Fresh zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes (according to package directions)
In the same pot you cooked the pasta, heat olive oil over medium heat and add scallions and capers; cook for 30 seconds. Add pasta and toss until ingredients are mixed. Add cream and allow cream to cover all the pasta and become warm. Finally add chopped smoked salmon and allow to warm up in the pasta. Add lemon zest. Toss, and season with lots of fresh black pepper. Salt if necessary. (Bear in mind that smoked salmon AND capers are both salty.)