Sometimes being a single parent means accepting that I am imperfect, that the ability to teleport doesn’t exist and that it has to be okay that I cannot do everything.
I received a loud and clear reminder of that last week. It was impossible to mistake.
My son’s final middle school track meet of the season started just before my daughter’s ballet class. I had to drop her off, and make sure she was settled, before I could go to the meet.
That’s how I missed his first two events, both held early in the meet.
When I got to the stadium, I met him on the bleachers and we shared a snack. Quietly, I kept my fingers crossed his third event would start before I had to leave to pick my daughter up. When they called the girls’ heats, I thought maybe — just maybe — I could see him run before I left.
That didn’t happen. In fact, they hadn’t even called the boys when I left.
Again, I dared to hope that I could return before he ran. But that didn’t happen either. My daughter and I arrived back just as he was walking off the field.
Despite having been at the meet, I managed to miss every event.
But I can’t be too upset about it. My personal village has helped me this whole season to be there as much as I could. I’ve managed to attend every meet, even the more far flung ones, and cheer him on. Before this, I only missed one event. I’m sad to have missed his events in the last meet … but I showed up, regardless. That’s my job.
Will joined the track team this season reluctantly. I’d insisted. Running track was among his favorite activities when we lived in Connecticut, and he quickly realized that was true here too. In fact, he’s decided to join a team over the summer.
I can’t be everywhere all the time, but what I can do is things like this: nudging my kids toward making good decisions. This time it was joining a sports team at school. Other times it’s reaching out to friends who need it. And often, it’s making smart decisions about what they eat.
Lately, that’s meant nudging them to eat more fruits and veggies — all the time, every day. While they love veggies and fruits, sometimes they forget. They’re just kids, after all.
Fortunately, I can nudge them in other ways too … like packing hearty salads for their lunches at school.
This one, robust with slightly sweet, peppery sauteed radishes, hard cooked eggs and more, is one they adore. And I love when their reusable salad containers come home completely empty.
For the salads, I combined romaine lettuce, halved sungold tomatoes, diced raw zucchini, shaved carrots, a hard cooked egg, croutons and these lovely radishes. I packed these with salad dressings — ranch, balsamic vinegar and oil, whatever you like works with this.
These radishes are simple to make.
Start by removing the greens and quartering the radishes. Saute them in a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper.
When they are tender and golden brown, remove them from the burner. They’re done.
So easy, right?
And then they’re delicious on salads like this. Sure you could pile a lot more on too … but I like the smaller taste this batch adds to salads for four.
Don’t have fresh, local radishes yet? There are so many great farmers markets to drop in to including the Ohio Street Farmers Market, held Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. across from the Rock Church.
Also, a special shoutout to the fourth graders at Old Town Elementary School who welcomed me Friday while I told them all about journalism careers. What a great, engaged, interesting group of students — thanks for listening so well and having so many great questions!
Looking for more tasty radish recipes? Check out this post for 5 Ways to Cook with Radishes from the Farmers’ Market.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 bunch radishes, leaves removed and radish parts quartered
- salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
- Add the radishes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown -- about 4-6 minutes.