If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.
Or if you have stones, don’t be throwing them at people in glass houses.
Or just to cover all our bases if you have a house or know someone who has even thought about having a house, don’t throw anything at it including rocks, pebbles, plastic bottles, or any paraphernalia that you may have lying about.
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I sat in the stands, with the baby between my legs playing at my feet.
Shelbi sat next to me as we watched Bella’s softball game.
As each of Bella’s team mates went to bat you could hear the echoing yells of the opposing team, “Hey batter, batter, batter! Hey, batter, batter, batter! LISTEN TO ME CHATTER”. On and on again. To say the least, those little boogers were ANNOYING.
But . . . . . Shelbi was really hating it.
Because although it may not be obvious, she really does love that kid ‘sasster’ of hers. That tickle in her nose, that sprain in her ankle, that dirt under her nails. That’s HER Bella. And she loves her. And it’s one thing for her to pester Bella. Quite another for somebody else to do the same.
So on behalf of all loving sisters everywhere. She did the one thing she could. Retaliate.
Filling up her lungs, just as it was time for the opposing team to step up to the plate, Shelbi waited for each and every batter to make their way to the plate , pausing as they held their bat to swing, and yelled “BATTER, BATTER, BATTER, SWIIINNNNNGGGG!!!!” At the perfectly wrong time to swing.
Some might call that genius.
Others may call that unfair.
The opposing team didn’t like it too much.
The taste of their own bitter pill being too much to take.
Some jerk yells across the field directly at my 10 year old, “KNOCK IT OFF”. And maybe a few expletives.
I’m not sure.
Because I didn’t hear a gosh durn thing. Even though I was sitting 1 cm away from her.
When I returned from my visit to La La Land, I looked to my left and found a teary eyed 10 year old, and some of the teams parents mouthing some words to my daughter that I couldn’t comprehend.
“What. . . .What’s going on?” I question.
One of the parents pipes in lecturing me and my daughter on the rules of the game.
“I really don’t think you’re allowed to yell from the stands. It’s against the League Rules. We weren’t allowed to do it last year. So I don’t think you can do it this year.”
Can you yell stuff like that from the stands? I don’t know.
Did the kids yell stuff last year? You’re darn tootin.
Do the other team parents have anymore of a clue about the rules and regulations than me? Heck no.
Water is pooling up in puddles in my kids face, and I can tell she is completely mortified. Slowly she’s shrinking, trying to disappear.
I lean over and in a low tone, but loud enough for those listening to hear, “It’s okay baby. Don’t worry about it. If you want to yell, go ahead and yell. But if you don’t want to because you’re too uncomfortable, that’s okay. No matter what, if anyone says anything else to you, I’ll go over there and take care of it.”
She sulks just looking defeated and mortified. “Just please drop it.” And the tears start to drop.
And I know she means it. Because this is my kid. That I have raised and loved for the last 10 years of her life. I could go over and tell that guy something, but that would make her mad. I could wrap her up in my arms and hug her and tell her everything’s okay, but that would REALLY make her mad. What she wants is to sit in silence, collect her thoughts, and so I drop it.
I get up, and walk over to the dug out to ask her father if it’s okay if she yells. When I get back, I slip back into my seat next to her, pat her knee and whisper, “Daddy said it’s OK.”
She looks up at me completely ticked off.
And as I’m looking into her eyes, trying to discern why in the world this child is totally angry, I receive a nudge in my shoulder.
It’s of the team moms who’s sitting on the other side of me.
She points at Shelbi mouthing the words, “SHE WAS CRYING.”
And I’m like, “Bella? Bella was crying?”
“No,” she whispers. “Your older daughter. She was really upset.” Yeah lady. I’m not blind.
“Oh, I know. She’ll be alright.” Way to sound like a caring parent.
And I turn away, but not before she nudges me again saying, “Well she was really upset, and I really think she needed a HUG.” Oh no.
“So I scooted on over and hugged her tight, and told her not to worry about the mean things other people were saying and that. . . .” And I zone out once again. Because I’m thinking, ‘Yup. That’s what she really needed was a hug from some stranger lady to make her feel better when she was trying to shrink away.’
And when I zone back in the concerned lady is looking at me smugly with her lips pursed. And all I can think of to say is, “You know, she’s just a stoic kid. She doesn’t like a lot of fuss. She just needs some time, she’ll be okay.”
“I really think all she really needed was a hug.” The sound of the words vibrating off the metal bleachers.
Really? Really lady? Don’t you think I would have loved to hug that kid? To tell her that the whole lot of them could just sod off. But I didn’t. Because I would have been doing that for ME. Not for HER. That’s not what she needed. And that sure as heck isn’t what she wanted. I have loved that child for every minute of every hour that she has had breadth to give, and probably even before that. And I did hug her. Maybe not in the concrete, visceral plane that you’re looking at. But I hugged her in her heart. My hugs are constant, unending, tight, powerful, and enduring.
She already knows that. And I know that.
You are the only one who doesn’t seem to know that.
And so I just looked at her and returned her same contrite tight lipped pucker. Tried to remember she was only trying to be helpful, while throwing boulders at my glass house from her glass house. I turned from her, placed my hand on my child’s knee, and continued to watch the game.
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Do you need a hug?
I know I could sure use one.
What’ll it be?
A side pat, chummy hug.
A weird, I don’t know you, but I’m gonna hug you anyway because I think it’ll make you feel better hug.
Or are you partial to full frontal, I wanna eat you up hug?
Personally, I prefer a full frontal, tight giggly hug, where you can fill the joy jumping up and down in the other person’s belly.
But, that may just be me.
This, my friends . . . . . .
Can be you hug for the day.
It’s a hug on a plate. You might know it as a Spanish Tortilla (Potato and Egg Frittata, Omelette thing).
One bite and you’ll be filled up with comfort, love, and warm cozy thoughts.
I’m not kidding.
It’ll hug you right on up.
Authentic Spanish Tortilla
This is the type of Tortillas they have in Spain. No corn or flour here. When I was in college I studied in Spain for a semester and I ate these practically every day. They reminded me of home, and love, and wonderfully warm, tight hugs from my mother so far away in Dallas.
This is how my adopted Spanish ‘mother’ used to make them.
1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, cleaned and cut up into bite size pieces
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 3 TB
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, diced
Salt and Pepper
1. In a 9″ skillet (Oven proof non-stick or well seasoned cast iron), heat 1/2 cup of oil on medium high heat. Add the potatoes, sprinkling with salt, and cook for 7 minutes. Making sure to stir often so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, crack and beat eggs into a large bowl. Set aside.
3. After the potatoes have cooked for 7 minutes, add the onions. Cook 3 minutes longer. If the potatoes are not tender, cover and cook for a few minutes more.
4. Once the potatoes are tender, but not mushy, remove the lid, add the garlic and cook one minute longer. Turn oven broiler on high.
5.Add the potato mixture to the eggs and toss to coat.
6. Add 3 TB of olive oil to your skillet, and keeping it on a medium/high heat, return the potato and egg mixture back to the pan.
Cook on medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the mixture is half set.
7. Place skillet in the oven under the broiler on high. Cook until top is set, and lightly browned.*
8.Remove from oven, let cool, and slide a knife around the edges to loosen. Cut into wedges and serve. Tastes great at room temperature.
*Traditionally, once the eggs are set, you would use a plate to cover the skillet and invert the eggs onto the plate. Add 1 TB of oil to the skillet and return the eggs to the skillet on the uncooked side, cooking until completely set. But I find my way, is a little easier.