This is the first post in an Advent series I’m writing this year. Each week will loosely focus on the symbols of the candles of the Advent wreath and how they relate to parenting, and every post will end with a recipe.
This week is about hope.
We had a bit of a different Thanksgiving this year. The weekend prior to the holiday, Ev and I spent the night in the ER getting breathing treatments for his croup. We both spent the rest of the week catching up on sleep and being crabby (in my case) or vomiting and maintaining a high fever (in his case). So when Thursday rolled around, Jay took John to the family Thanksgiving while Ev and I kept our crabby, germy selves at home.
Ev is in that toddler stage of immunity-building where he catches everything. He is coughing, he is snotty, he is throwing up. The only silver lining here is that he is the sweetest and happiest sick kid you’ll ever meet. He smiles and loves on you. He wants to read books. He wants to play. So, on our solo Thanksgiving, that’s what we did. We read Dr. Suess’ There’s a Wocket in my Pocket so many times, that if I didn’t already have it memorized (thank you, baby John), I would now. We said “vroom” and made cars drive around the toy room. We giggled and made animal sounds.
In the quiet of the day that was supposed to be loud, I looked at Ev with wonder. He is so unlike his brother. What will he become? What will he do? Who will he impact? I have wondered the same about John. John has long idolized his daddy’s profession and has decided that he, too, will be a doctor when he grows up. This is a wonderful and beautiful and ultimately financially responsible goal. I wish I could hold five year old John to this. It feels safe, normal.
I think we wish a lot of things as parents. Wish for health, success, happiness, love. Wishing isn’t bad. But here’s why I believe this first candle, this first week of Advent, is hope — or expectation — instead of wish: wishing is just for you.
Hope is optimistic. Hope is altruistic. It is active. It is something we can do for ourselves or others, and something we can expect to bring about real change.
I wish Ev would stop getting sick so much of the time… but I hope he stays happy and builds the immunity he needs.
I wish John would be the doctor he wants to be at age five… but I hope he finds a career he’s passionate about.
I hope we don’t lose sight of the hope involved in the Christmas season. So often we only hear about the wishes, the wants, the lists. It isn’t bad to wish or to want, but wishing is passive. It is just waiting. It isn’t doing.
We are in a season of waiting — that’s what Advent is, after all — but we are waiting with hope. We know the end is salvation, light, peace. We don’t know what happens in the in-between, but we know the end is good. Trust the end is good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I wish that you and yours stay healthy throughout this Advent season, but I hope that you can find beauty in staying home if you need to. If you find yourself needing some comfort and relief, I do implore you to make this soup — it is a healthy and comforting food superstar. Without further ado:
Turkey Noodle Soup
(Chicken works too, but you’ve got leftover turkey right now, don’t you?)
Note: Any time you roast a chicken or turkey, I hope (!) you make your own stock from the carcass. If you haven’t, do it next time! It is positively the easiest food to make, and homemade stock is only about a million times better than store-bought (one blogger’s opinion, anyway). I loosely follow the 100 Days of Real Food recipe here.
Second note: I’m guessing on almost all of my ingredient amounts, because I subscribe to a “make it up as you go along” cooking philosophy. So basically, don’t follow and measure TOO closely. We aren’t baking, after all.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic (may throw in some onion here too — I have a family of onion-avoiders)
8 cups turkey stock
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
2 cups shredded turkey
homemade whole wheat egg noodles! (OK, or any egg noodles)
salt and pepper
Saute the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the stock and the turkey and vegetables. At this point, if you are adding homemade noodles, you’ll want to cook them in the soup for about twenty minutes, or until soft, or the consistency you like. If you are using store-bought noodles, follow the cooking instructions on the package. Season with salt and pepper. You can use other spices, but if you made your own stock, your soup will already be quite flavorful.
Quick note about homemade noodles: Y’all, they are so much easier than I ever thought they would be. I’m a bummer with a rolling pin, though, so I I use my manual pasta roller.
Here’s to hope and soup! Have a great week.