When You’re Disappointed and Bitter

With so many tomatoes, how could I not make homemade sauce? 

It’s violent. 

You take tomatoes and submerge them in boiling water for a few seconds.  Then you drown them in ice water.  Then you skin them.  Then you remove their seeds.  It feels like some torture process.  I chop; I puree; I simmer everything down to a thick sauce.

You have to do it this way.  No other process removes the bitterness; no other process releases the flavor.  

My daughter’s helping me peel and chop garlic.  We’ve been disappointed, bitter, all morning because she didn’t get the teacher she wanted for kindergarten.  None of her friends are in her class.  Head hung low, mouth in a frown, she’s experienced this first violent assault on her expectations, her hopes, her dreams for her life.  

“Sometimes it’s like that,” the older one says.  “But the best thing about kindergarten is making brand new friends. You’ll see.”

She will see.  It is like that.  No other process will teach her how to rise above her disappointment.  No other process will release her from her rigid control of what must surely be the best life.  Released like that, her life can be that sweet aroma–that beautiful flavor–of a person who knows how to find good in any pain. 

No other process will do that for her. 

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  1. We used to tell our children that they could learn something from every teacher, even if they didn't like them, even if they actually were being unfair or did something blatantly unkind. Hopefully not a conversation you'll need to have with a kindergartener, but as ours got older there WERE some poor teachers in the system. We tried to point out, this is why you don't treat others like that, you can learn to get along with all kinds of people, do your best even when someone else isn't doing his or her best. Life lessons sometimes start early. Nice post.