My eight year old daughter dramatically entered the house, grabbed my hand and led me to her room. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as she said, “I had a horrible day at school today, Mama.”
I asked her what made her so upset. She said during recess she noticed a boy doing something peculiar on the playground. Later, while she and her friend were standing in line, her friend remarked about the same incident she had witnessed. Loden chimed, “I saw that too!” to which her friend replied, “I don’t believe you!”. When Loden asked why she didn’t believe her, her friend shrugged her shoulders and walked away.
All day long, this tugged her heartstrings into the mud. Why wouldn’t her friend believe her? What had she done that would cause someone to think she’s untruthful?
I told her that her friend might be going through something we may not understand right now. I told her to have compassion for her friend because she’s usually a fun and loving child. I also told her that this is one of life’s most difficult lessons with which most adults continue to struggle. I told her all that mattered is that she herself knew she was telling the truth.
It doesn’t feel good when others don’t believe you, no matter your age. I told Lolo I’m going through a similar experience right now.
My partner of 20 years has decided to leave a very successful career because he wanted to spend more time with our child. We only have one and it won’t be long before she’s a teenager who’s off to college to begin her own life-journey. It was a difficult decision, but he decided to give a new life and a new role a try. We moved away from LA and all of our wonderful friends to live in a place which is a bit calmer. His courage to leave behind such a huge part of his life is awe-inspiring and it is a path that not many people would not pursue. As I watch him interact with our daughter, I realize that he is more special than anyone could possibly know because he is honorable, brave and loving. Our kid is the luckiest child in the world to have such an involved dad.
Still, it stings from time to time when I hear that I’m being blamed for his departure from Hollywood. It hurts to be labeled as “jealous because his co-star is more beautiful” or “that I wear the pants in the family and forced him to leave the show” or “that he shouldn’t have left his day job to support my career because I suck” and other such mean-spirited nonsense. Have any of you ever met my husband? He is a Taurus … need I say more? I’ve been in the music business since I was a teenager so I have a pretty tough skin, yet to know that people view me in such a way … to be bullied … well, it makes me wanna cry sometimes too. Some people derive joy from hurting others. It makes me weep for my daughter and the rest of her generation since the age of the internet makes it easy for people to lash out at others from a place of anonymity.
As I was holding my daughter and telling her not to let anyone else’s opinion diminish her feelings of self-worth because she is honest and integral, I realized that I should’ve punched memo record on my phone so I might play that message back to myself on occasion. I also repeat this mantra, “Most people are good. Most people are kind. I am surrounded by love.” These are things I can and DO believe.
PS Here is a delicious Comfort Food Recipe (for when you need a little extra love) from one of my favorite cookbooks, But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner as well as a link to my poppa’s words-of-wisdom-put-to-song, “Stronger Than Stone”:
LENTIL-MUSHROOM “MEATLOAF” WITH KETCHUP GLAZE (Serves 4 to 6 people)
1/2 C vegan ketchup
2 T coconut sugar or vegan brown sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar (I use coconut vinegar)
1/4 tspn mustard powder
1 T flaxseed meal
3 T warm water
1 tspn extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms (I use mixed mushrooms)
1/2 C diced carrot
1/3 C diced celery
2 C cooked lentils
2 T nutritional yeast
2 T tomato paste
2 T liquid aminos (or tamari)
1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 1/2 tspns dried parsley
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 C rolled oats (certified gluten-free if you’re intolerant/allergic), divided plus more if needed
1/2 tspn salt
several dashes of black pepper (leave out to make kid-friendly version)
1/2 C almond flour
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix the glaze ingredients in small bowl and set aside
3. Whisk the flaxseed meal (this replaces the binding action of an egg) and water together in a cup and set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot, and celery and sauté until the carrot is tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor. Add about 1 1/4 C of the lentils and the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, liquid aminos, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme, sage, fennel seeds and 1/2 C of the oats. Pulse until fully combined. Add salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the almond flour, flaxseed mixture and the remaining 3/4 C lentils and 1/2 C oats; mix until thick dough is formed. If it’s too liquid, add more oats. If it’s too dry (not forming a ball), add water by the tablespoon until no longer crumbly.
6. Turn the mixture out onto prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf. Brush only half of the glaze on top and sides then bake for 30 minutes. Brush the remaining glaze on top and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let it cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift the loaf onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 5 minutes then serve warm. Leftovers can be chilled in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
I serve slices of “meatloaf”on a bed of massaged baby kale (add a pinch of salt and one Tablespoon of olive oil to a bunch of well-cleaned baby kale and toss by hand for a few minutes then let stand until kale shrinks and becomes softened). Please see the photo of last night's family dinner.
These are stones (healing crystals) I often use when I need to "recharge my batteries". Tree Agate allows your inner wisdom to surface, calms the body/mind and boosts the immune system. Blue Lace Agate it is used by singers, speakers or anyone trying to find their inner voice because it aids communication, clarity and confidence. XXX