Is it possible to get more cliche than that? Seriously. But as is with many cliches, there was an original moment of profound truth. We just need to clip away the frayed threads that fuzz up and obscure the fundamental principle.
Today, Bug turns eight. Someone commented recently to me that each child's birthday is also a day of celebration for the mother...it is our accomplishment as well. So true. On these birthdays, I sit and reminisce about the uniqueness of each of their births. Bug was my first v-bac after having a cesarean with Dog. Two days of labor and at least four hours of pushing. Big baby. Nine pounds, thirteen ounces and twenty-one inches long. It was a hard-won success, not because the labor and delivery was tough, though it was. It was hard-won because of having to swim upstream against prevailing prejudices within the medical community. Of finding medical professionals who would support me in my choices and assist me in doing it as safely as possible rather than practice defensive medicine. I read, researched, and educated myself. I swamped myself with success stories.
Some of the most useful discoveries that I made had to do with the attitude of the mom in the birthing experience. The moms who floundered or panicked were usually those who felt that the pain was something that was being done to them. The moms who were the most in control weren't the ones who didn't feel the pain. They felt the pain, all right. But they didn't feel as if they were at the mercy of that pain. Each wave of pain, each contraction informed what needed to be done next in order to help the baby emerge.
As I reflected on that birthing experience, I started to draw some connections. I've seen folks inundated with food issues who resisted. Fought against it. Looked for that magic pill. That silver bullet that would let them "get back" to their lives. And I've seen others that dove forward into dealing with the food issues, no holds barred and a can-do attitude. That's the way I want to handle it...that's the attitude I want.
So these days, I'm still working on my attitude. Particularly my attitude about fish. I envy people who love fish. The Hobbits adore it when Tool Guy fries up a mess of fish. Me? Not so much. But I know it's good for me. Again, at the gentle prompting of my gardening mentor, I tried this slap-together fish dish, gluten-free style. It is a delicious way of incorporating the benefits of wild-caught salmon--including the nutrition in all those little bones--painlessly into the menu.
1 15 oz. can of salmon
3 slices of bread
1 tsp. seasoned salt
Lard or oil for frying
In a food processor, reduce bread slices to crumbs. Remove. Drain salmon and process with egg and seasoned salt. Add breadcrumbs and blend until completely mixed. In cast iron dutch oven, heat lard or oil. When ready, spoon salmon mixture into hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly brown.
Pain in life is a lot like pain in birth. Fight against it or work with it. Is it being done to me or is it informing me? I count myself lucky in a sense, in that my first birthing experience was a cesarean and I wanted to do everything I could to safely avoid that again. It was a powerful motivation for me to take a much closer look at how I wanted to give birth than I might have done otherwise. I worked harder and put a significantly larger amount of effort into it than I ever did for anything else before. It changed my complacency permanently. And I ended up being much more richly rewarded than I ever dreamed. I look back and see that all of the hard things that have come into my life have really been blessings, because they turned me down paths I never would have chosen but find I would be profoundly bereft had I not followed them. Likewise, with the food issues, the circumstances in life drive our choices and we often end up in unexpected and even better places than we would have chosen for ourselves, had we been left to our own devices. "God bless the broken road..."