On the topic of soup.
I’m making chicken soup for my daughter who is sick with a cold. She is napping. While she has been napping, I have eaten a bowl of cheese puffs, a slice of actual cheese, a slice of turkey, three stalks of celery, and two chocolate chip cookies. Other people’s stuff is always tastier, in my opinion, although I worry that her six-year sons will notice the erosion of their cheese puff stash. They’re at school, happily, so I didn’t have to share nor silence their protests.
I like making chicken soup. I usually use the leftover bones and whatnot from a roast chicken but this soup has original chicken in it, five big plump thighs. I first made non-leftover chicken chicken soup a year or so ago for street outreach. It was insanely below zero and so I thought chicken soup would be perfect for homeless people not thinking very long about how it would instantly go cold even in a styrofoam cup wrapped in tin foil. When the outreach team leader later told me that a woman thought my soup was “divine,” it was life changing. So much so that I am now permanently on this course of full body chicken soup.
My goal when I was a young woman was to be an earth mother with a long flowing skirt and flowers behind my ear. I thought I should mix potions from rose hips and grow my own sprouts. I did grow my own sprouts but failed on the flowing skirt front because that look didn’t work with high-heeled boots and the boots were essential to walking on the wild side, as they used to say. So as much as I wish I had, I never made homemade chicken soup when my daughter was a child. I opened a can of Campbell’s.
There’s no taking that fact back. And, although I’d like to, there’s no chance of creating a new narrative of my daughter’s childhood by pretending that I always made chicken soup from scratch. I could put a new slant on a lot of things that happened with her when she was little, give the facts a new interpretation, do a bit of parental gaslighting, “remember when I used to make this for you when you were a kid?” But it wouldn’t work. She remembers the can.