by Caroline

I had a little meltdown the other day.

It had been a day in which various bad things and mistakes piled up, and when my kind, dinner-cooking husband asked if I wanted a stir fry for dinner, I didn’t take it well. We’ve been eating a lot of stir fry lately, but that wasn’t the problem so much as that I suddenly couldn’t make a decision at all. Lisa and I are making dozens of decisions, big and small, every day about the book as we ready it for the press; Tony and I are making even more as we read foundation applications. My kids haven’t stopped being their clamorous, questioning, fabulous 6 and 9 year-old selves just because I have two big deadlines. I shut down.

“I want dinner,” I said, “And I don’t want to cook or make a decision about it, and I know this is totally selfish, but I want something new, too.”

Half an hour later, Tony was back from the market, chopping and stirring, while I ignored supervised the kids’ homework and emailed with writers. “Everything is cooking,” Tony announced, “but I don’t know what I’m making.”

An hour later, we were sitting down to dinner. Nothing fancy — steamed green beans with lemon and sliced almonds; jasmine rice; lentils with caramelized shallots — but it was tasty and different, and I didn’t cook it. Tony even had it in him to set the boys a challenge (to eat their rice without soy sauce), so the boys accessorized with squeezes of lemon and lime juice. Eli declared it “definitely probably the best dinner I’ve had this month and the last month.” I’d have to agree.