There’s a meal/ snack I make when I’m on my own or its late and I’m hungry for something. I have been making this since my earliest days on my own. It’s totally simple and requires zero effort and some might call it bland. It is steamed rice with chicken stock and a handful of frozen veggies thrown in. When I first moved out to the big city and left Vancouver Island, it was Minute Rice, and later “real” rice. Sometimes I scramble an egg into it too, and sometimes I use veggies from the fridge rather than frozen.
This meal is very comforting to me. It reminds me of my mom for some reason, though I don’t recall her making something exactly like this, but it strikes me as something she might have – simple, economical, filling. When my mom first left my dad she had to get on her feet, secure housing, get a job, pay the bills. I stayed with my dad / grandparents and eventually I moved in with her.
Some memories of being parented by a single mom:
At first we lived in a basement suite. The kitchen had mint green and black and white tiles (the kind that today would require a special hazmat team to remove it from the house) and I has a special pair of dress shoes I pretended I could tap dance in.
We moved, and rented the upper floor of a house and I have two very clear memories. My mom letting me throw stuff into the fire that made it change colours, and the day my mom wouldn’t get out of bed and I had to call my grandpa (turns out Mom had spinal meningitis). Bonus memory: that time I was dating a guy and we went over to his house for the first time, and it was the same place. For real. Whoa.
My mom worked hard – she was a telephone operator and worked wacky hours and progressed up the ranks until she was a supervisor. I don’t know at what point I walked home by myself and let myself in when she was working, but I know I did and that it was no big deal.
As I got older, my mom was my biggest cheerleader. She drove me to soccer practice and field hockey practice, and when I got better, tryouts for Island or Provincial teams. We certainly weren’t well off, but she and my step-dad always had money for used books, and I always had enough to eat and somehow they always managed to scrounge up registration fees for theatre, sports, or school events.
Mom is a fighter and beat breast cancer and goes to work every day with a smile on her face. She golfs, digs theatre, and writes a mean limerick. She has become a one-woman-Geronimo Stilton-book-finding-machine. She makes incredible Yorkshire puddings, likes her rum and coke white, tall, and with no fruit, and if there was a reality shop for thrift shopping, she would win.
Since becoming a parent myself, my perspective on the sacrifices my mom had to make while raising me, especially as a single parent, has changed completely. She has been a wealth of information and support, and has perfected the art of making suggestions without offering “ass-vice“. My mom is an invaluable part of the village I’m relying on to raise my kid, even if we don’t get to see each other nearly often enough.
I am so incredibly grateful that she is in my life. My mom is the best. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!