– Oregon Culinary Institute‘s newest chefs
I believe it was Claire Dunphy who said, “If Haley never wakes up on a beach in Florida half naked … I’ve done my job.” I’m no Claire Dunphy and Tonton’s definitely far from a “Haley” minus the love of beanies, but I like to think I’ve done an okay job too.
My son. He says things to random strangers like, “How many smiles have you had today? Well, here’s one for you.” and he does things like walk with me down a Walmart aisle at midnight in search of active bacteria just because it means he gets to spend time with his mama. I love my son. I miss him dearly every day of my life without him.
Sometimes, when it’s really quiet and no one’s around I get these visions of a little four year old lying in his plastic blue car bed waiting for me to wind up his lullaby toy so he can fall asleep. It wasn’t that he couldn’t wind it up himself or that I couldn’t sing. Those memories are happy and sad and I still have trouble not wishing I could turn back time when they hit me.
I know he’s too old for words of wisdom from a mom who made more mistakes than dinners, flew off the handle so many times he had to ride the proverbial bike of life without them and mistakenly posted winky faces instead of smiles on his Facebook page to his utter embarassment, but here they are anyway cause that’s how I roll ;)
1. Keep stopping on your way to anywhere to take pictures of beautiful things and share them with the world. That majestic flower in the middle of downtown Portland was famous for a day because of you.
2. Don’t stop smiling at people, especially the ones who may not smile back. Sometimes they just don’t know how. It’s true.
3. Follow your blips. You have the best happiness radar you could ever hope for and you’ve used it time and time again to lead you to what makes you want to put on a beanie and ride the bus to “work”. Oh, and never let work become “work”.
4. I love you are words you can use when you are happy, sad, disappointed, furious, lonely, bummed, perplexed, mesmerized, scared and at a loss for words. Use them often, like salt.
5. Remember that there is nothing you can do to separate me from you. Yeah, it’s that simple.
6. Finally, in the words of your very own chefs, always “Bring it!”