With my children, there are moments in my memory that I wish I could just hit a "Play" button only to have them performed over and over again. Sure, threre are those that we have captured on video or film, but then there are those that happen so suddenly and you find yourself wanting to freeze time. The moments when you look at your child and you realize how FAST they are growing, and how much their childhood will soon become a memory. I joke with Sophia that no matter how tall she gets, I will always hold her just like my baby girl. I say this as I hold her and she giggles with delight as I am huffing-and-puffing as I say it due to her already being so tall and no longer weighing that of an infant or toddler. Forever my little girl she will be...
Then there is Giovanni, who swears that he is going to marry me someday, and this just melts my heart! To know that he will be one day soooo embarrassed as I remind him of this, makes me somewhat apprehensively sad. These are the rights of passage...Freud taught us about them all. My dear friend and family member, Nancy, said it best of all: "There will NEVER be ANYONE who loves me like my son!" Just writing that fills my eyes with tears. A love only a mother can know...
For all those abused, neglected or forgotten children, who have perhaps grown into adults without a sense of purpose or direction, please know that you are not forgotten in people's prayers, and I would just reach out and hug you on the street if I knew that you had experienced pain or suffering as a child. I pray that those who had can find hope and healing. Research shows that the abuse that exists in families is most likely "learned" behaviors from the past--the domino effect, if you will, which will just keep on repeating itself until love and healing take place--until an abused stops being an abuser. My prayer for the abused is that they can somehow find the way or the path toward believing that there is a life of non-violence and love awaiting them--a moment when they know in their heart that the cycle has been broken. Noone deserves to be abused, but if you were, please do not become the abuser. Find forgiveness, and grab onto hope as it is always there. As for mothers who were perhaps abused as children, may you find forgiveness in your soul so that you can love your own children in the purest and strongest way -- the way that they deserve.
A moment struck me recently as one of those I will hang on to: I was picking up Giovanni from pre-school and I noticed a poster board on the wall that said, "How Do We Help Others"? Underneath that, written in the teacher's handwriting were the quotes from the pre-schoolers. I looked for Giovanni's name and there it was...his answer was, "Be a Super Hero!" Perhaps this blog project is sinking in for him...he is learning to be a hero for those in need. And in my eyes, he is "Super" and more!
On this past Saturday night I had my Mom, my brother Adam, and my brother-in-law Luke over for dinner. Goo ("Christina" as non-family members know her) was skiing with girlfriends in Mammoth, Madi was out with her friends in L.A., and Joe was traveling on business.
It is enjoyable to cook for males as they usually have huge appetites and you can be assured that not much will go to waste--provided that it is tasty. So, I had the other two favorite men in my life over in hopes of feeding them and getting thumbs up! I made one dish that I had made before as I trusted they would enjoy it. It was the "Pork Romana" recipe and it was yum! I then decided to do another guilty cheese-sauce pasta...this one contained three different cheeses and I again tossed it with linguine. A caesar salad and garlic bread complemented the menu, and we had great conversation and a great time! I am passionate about family dinners and what they mean for the children. Seeing Giovanni and Sophia sitting there, quietly eating and chiming in with their funny renditions of whatever they were thinking at the time was delightful!
Here is the pasta recipe for you to enjoy...it goes best with a sweeter dish as the cheese has strong, bold flavors!
Tagliarini With Four Cheeses (but I used Three!)
From: "365 Easy Italian Recipes "
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated
4 ounces dolce latte gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces Bel Paese cheese (Have NO idea what this is -- couldn't find it!), cut up
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, about 4 ounces
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more for grinding
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 pound fresh tagliarini (I used linguine)
1. In a nonreactive large saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over medium heat; be careful not to let it boil over. Add fontina, gorgonzola, and Bel Paese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Season with pepper and nutmeg.
2. Meanwhile, cook tagliarini in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm, 2 to 4 minutes; drain. Pour pasta and sauce into a warmed large bowl and toss together. Pass remaining Parmesan cheese and a pepper mill on the side.