The Healing Horse, Chapter 4: Resentment and Reconciliation with Reality, Scene 2: Making Dinner for Mama

As Chapter 4 proceeds, Kitten thinks about her Mama’s suggestion that she walk to the Pier on her own, and then she puts it into perspective by recalling the last time she had tried to become more independent.

Scene 2: Making Dinner for Mama

Karen recalled a scene they had just the week before. Perhaps Mama’s suggestion about the pier was coming from it.

Late one afternoon, before her Mama got home from work, Karen decided to make a special dinner for the two of them. She filled a three-quart pot with water, added a little salt and put it on the stove to boil. While it was heating, she opened the refrigerator to see what was available for a salad. Emptying the produce bin, she aligned the vegetables on the white tile counter, close by the sink, so she could wash them.

This was the first time Kitten had ever tried to prepare a meal on her own. She was excited and filled with an electric enthusiasm. Exuberant, intoxicated by her own independence, she not only wanted to surprise Mama, she wanted to do this for herself.

“I hope Mama likes this,” she said, as she walked to the stereo. Click—the speakers hummed for a moment, before the music came on. She sang along with The Four Lads’ 1956 song Standing on the Corner. Singing and dancing, she pretended she was Julia Child creating a gourmet dinner on her TV show. The Marvelettes’ 1961 song, Please Mr. Postman began. Karen interrupted her work to twirl with the music, as she sang louder.

Even as she enjoyed the music, she picked up each vegetable and washed it separately, as Mama would have done. She laid them on a terry cloth towel to drain, before putting the romaine into a pretty bowl. Holding the veggies with her weak left hand, she cut them—carrots, celery, cauliflower and broccoli—precisely dicing them into bite-sized pieces with the French knife she held in her right hand. She scooped some avocado into the bowl on top of them. When it was full, she put her salad into the fridge to chill until dinner. She would dress it, then. The water for the spaghetti was coming to a boil. She had timed everything, perfectly.

#cerebralpalsy #inspirational #childhood

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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