None of us can help the things life has done to us. (Eugene O’Neil)

Morning has broken… greeted now by my stilled heart… Is he breathing?

Rarely am I awake before my son… This morning I quietly watched the sun rise from the comfort of my bed humming “Morning Has Broken.” I love the morning and what it brings… Thankful for the opportunity to start anew with an abundance of fresh hope to build on…

IMG_3733When your child enters the world through a catastrophic birth, particularly when extremely premature, the inherent “living on the edge” becomes shockingly real all too soon. What accompanies you and that wee bundle of joy you tightly secure in an infant car seat for the trip home, is chronic grief… later to become anticipatory: It is your breakfast, your first meal to swallow for a while. Monitors help minimize the guessing, but as many preemies advance in age, like any child typically developing in contrast to “atypically developing,” all children exercise their voice for their likes and dislikes. The monitors annoy him and because every parent must learn early to choose your battles, this is one for him to win and his doctors have taken note. (Fortunately, not all preemies are destined for medically fragile lives because the science of saving and supporting these precious little ones has advanced… Arguably, it is a crap shoot.)

Breakfast, is perhaps, my least exciting meal. Where it not for Fredrick having to swallow a handful of drugs every morning I might not have developed the habit of a calm breakfast. A hot espresso and a Valencia (juice) orange was my significant meal to break the fast for decades… My oldest son and I had more rushed mornings and often just serving him a hot bowl of cream of wheat, oats or cold cereal before school and work, respectively… was a time challenge.

Recently, I have found a warm bowl of steel-cut or old-fashioned oats works wonders for centering me. I find this odd because as a college student, I ran out of money and called home to my parents to say, “SEND MORE MONEY”. My mom asked, “Why?” After a lengthy explanation that failed to motivate her, I told her I was hungry. (No parent wants to think of his or her child starving to death.) Finally, I pressed the right button… so I believed until she asked, “Do you have oatmeal?” Mother knew I had a large container of Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats. Yes, Mother, I do have oatmeal. “Good!” she quipped, “That will last you a while.” End of conversation. I ate so much oatmeal until for years afterward I could not eat oats.

Oats are good and I purchase large bags of good organic, non-GMO oats to feed my family these days. To make them more palatable, we compliment this perfect food with fruits and nuts.  IMG_6948 (Frozen blueberries in bottom of bowl, or as shown here, lightly unsweetened cooked apples… Leave the peels on for healthy pectin… organic only.)

Last summer, I purchased “Hulless Oats” … Organic and non-GMO oats at our Farmers Market and they are interchangeable for any meal… savory for lunch or dinner. I will continue to explore this new world of  “Hulless” oats.IMG_7128

In this moment, he is breathing… As well I can breathe too with plans for this TINYKITCHEN today to render GREATTASTE and expand our “collective” BIGHEART. It’s a good day for Oats an even better day for LOVE and LIFE!  (Hmmm… Short ribs or cornish hens???)

One of my favorite Eugene O’Neil quotes… “None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”

Or, perhaps you find your true heart… Happy hunting.