Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Separation Aberration Mortification

The day we dropped my older son off at college, I missed him before we even headed home. And I told him so, as my husband rolled his eyes, texting him from his dorm parking lot. He was only an hour away, but no longer a daily physical presence in our lives. It was an adjustment. 

He stopped by both when I knew he was coming and sometimes just unexpectedly. I kept a bag of supplies for him in his locker in the laundry room, still actively involved in supplying his needs (and wants). On any weekend I could find myself cheerfully setting another place at the family table.

Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese Pockets are the perfect summer lunch. Use leftover chicken and ham and these delicious sandwiches come together in minutes | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich
Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese Pockets

When he and a number of students got food poisoning, many ended up dehydrated in the hospital. The wind was whipping dangerously the day I drove to school to get him, car bouncing around the highway like a ping pong ball. I brought him home and spent a week nursing him back to health. Because I could.

When my younger son went to school 10 hours away, it was a whole new level of separation. There were times when, as a mom, it was achingly difficult not to be near him, like when he broke his leg, and when his friend/chef died. Or even when I just walked by his room, feeling the emptiness to my core.

But I was able to support him from afar, advise him and provide for his needs. And I knew the environment he was in, that he was learning and growing, that he was free, that he was safe. I could talk with him any time, fly him home frequently. In fact, it was rarely more than a few months between visits. 

He's home now having graduated last month. We went to pick him up knowing exactly where he would be and when to be there. He's in my home now, planning his future with his family. Sitting at our table daily.

My son is better, stronger, smarter for his experience. He will leave again, and I know how much I will miss him again. But it will be not be open ended, and it will be not with fear in my heart, but pride. 
I was going to say that unless you've been living under a rock, you know about the controversy that came to a head this past week over the administration's zero tolerance (anti)immigration policy. It resulted in both a change in the parameters of approved circumstances under which refugees can request asylum, and a new immigration enforcement policy which, when enacted, saw thousands of children of all ages ripped from their parents and placed in internment camps. Indefinitely.

Truth is, even if you have, in fact, been living under a rock, you have to know this is happening. And the resulting controversy.

For a week now I've been vacillating between trying to understand what these people are going through, and desperately trying not to.

Separation Aberration Mortification | Graphic designed by and the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #politics #immigration

I think about how much I missed my sons, even though it was a planned, voluntary, emotionally safe separation. I'm not trying to make a comparison between these circumstances, there are none. I bring it up as it's the only time I had any inkling of what it was like to be physically separated from and missing my children. What at the time was emotional for me, was in fact just a temporary physical-only disconnection, so trivial given what I'm now witnessing as to be embarrassing.

With perspective I have come to some stark realizations, most mortifying is the visceral, visual proof that there is no correlation between a gentle parting and the aberration of violent ripping. 

There is separation and then there is amputation.

And I just cannot begin to imagine.

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Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese Pockets

Ingredients (per pocket):
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1/4 celery stick, chopped
1/2 green onion, sliced
1 TBSP butter
1 pita pocket
2 slices Swiss or cheese of your choice (I used Pepper Jack) 1 slice thick ham (I used leftover Marinated Grilled Ham Steak), cut in half

*Mix together the cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery and green onion. Set aside.
*Cut the pita pocket in half. Break up the cheese slices to fit inside the pocket halves without hanging out. Place a slice of ham in each.
*Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pockets and cook until the bottom starts to brown. Flip over and cook the other side. Remove from pan.
*Using a knife, immediately carefully pry the pocket open, fill with the chicken salad.


  1. To have my children torn away from me is unthinkable. I can think of little else these days except those terrified little babies. Heart-breaking simply doesn't describe it any longer.

  2. Separation vs. amputation. That’s it exactly. The innocent children, and the trauma they will cope with for the rest of their lives. Some, only infants. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Yes, separation just doesn't seem to convey the meaning, it's a whole different thing to me.

  3. Recipe looks fantastic.
    What is going on is hard. US citizens arrested with their children in tow, those kids are taken away and put into child protective services until a family member can come and get them. It can be a long time or minutes. These people can't call a relative to come. I feel for the children, they had no choice about crossing the border and they had no say in being detained. They are innocent. It is a mess. If we send them back to Mexico, what then? Will they be held in some facility there as well? What a mess.

    1. Truly a mess, but a mess that should be dealt with from a place of compassion.

  4. I agree with your reply to Dawn, a mess that should be dealt with from a place of compassion.

    1. Yes, we need to all work to make this world, and this country, a better place.

  5. I can't imagine having a child living so far from me my eldest lives 20 minutes from me and at times that feels like it is too far.

    1. I agree, I would love to have my boys stay close to home. Unfortunately I doubt that's going to happen. But at least no matter where they are I will know where they are and always be in touch.


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