All this time I have been cooking and now writing about how food is such an integral part of my life and family, never did I expect it to help me forgive the unforgivable. Two years ago, my son (then in 1st grade) was at soccer practice. The coaches were pretty intense and were lecturing these little 6 yr. olds on the game. My son and another boy were bored and started goofing off. My son tripped the boy (he was fine) and all of the sudden, his raging mother ran on to the field yelling and screaming to the coaches and pointing in my son’s face. I quickly tried to get control and calm everyone down, including my son who was now scared and crying. I asked to speak to the woman in private and tried to talk this out. She went on to verbally abuse me like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. I had to fight back my tears. I never pull this card but I told her that my son had some social challenges and that he did not hurt her boy on purpose. She didn’t care. I explained that some things were more difficult for him. She didn’t care.
She continued with the verbal abuse until I told her what she wanted to hear, “I am sorry that this happened and I will talk to my son about it”. It took all my strength to hold it together until I was alone and then cried harder than I did when they told me my mother had just months to live. I managed to avoid her for the rest of the season. About a year later I saw her in Marshalls, my face went white and I could barely move. I never forgot – two years have gone by and I still get choked up thinking about it.
One of my very dear friends recently had foot surgery and was laid up on the couch, so I went (of course with food) for a visit. The woman who recommended the doctor felt bad for her and called to say that she was stopping by with dinner. How nice – they weren’t even close! I went to answer the door and right in front of me was my abuser “scary soccer mom”. I managed to somehow open the door and let her in. We both pretended we never met. I stood there while she chatted with my friend who thanked her profusely for the kind dinner. There is NOTHING this woman could have done for ME to make me forgive her. However, my friend you see, is a young widow with young children, and watching my abuser do something so selfless for HER (out of all people) was a different story – it was at least a start. As it turns out, “the family dinner” is way more powerful than even I knew.
Tonight…we’re taking the kids out.