Just the other day we were at my father-in-law, Paddy’s house, he was making dinner for us as he always does (we are very well-fed at grandpa’s) when Emmett ran into the kitchen and told him “YOU are the Mammy of this house!” I was in the other room when Emmett said this but my father-in-law proudly relayed it to me and I couldn’t help but feel such a pang of love and happiness as well as a kind of awe at how this man has tirelessly supported, guarded, guided and set the BEST example for his children and grandchildren.
I know his late-wife, Linda, looks down on him with such pride at how he honors her memory and the family that they built together. I feel confident that Paul would do the same if he had to. I know it isn’t easy, no matter how readily one can be lulled into believing it might be - because of the grace and humility with which my father-in-law accomplishes it all. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to turn into a single parent when your children are any age, much less young adults who in their way, need you more than ever. Fortunately for Paddy, Linda has always remained a grounding presence in the lives of all of her loved ones and a great motivator even, perhaps especially, now. I wish I had known her and find myself wondering what she would do in so many situations.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that when Emmett made that comment I wondered if he thought that moms did all of the cooking. But only for a second. I think he meant that moms take care of everybody. Make sure they’re all ok. With tea and kindness. Like Paddy does. I'm so grateful that he has his Grandpa to show him what that looks like and to prove that men do it too.
Today I’m making the most basic of all basics. A simple cup of tea. I don’t exactly know where I picked up this technique, I’m guessing it was from Paddy as I don’t think it’s something I would have ever stumbled upon myself.
1 ½ quart saucepan
3 bags of Barry’s tea
½ cup cold water
1 liter boiling water
Place the tea bags and ½ cup cold water in the bottom of a 1 ½ quart saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil and turn the heat off.
Add about 1 liter boiling water (I use an electric kettle for this) to saucepan and cover with lid for 3 minutes.
Remove teabags, pour and serve. Yes, I pour straight from the pan. If you want to use a teapot you can boil the 1/2 cup of water with the teabags (step one) in the microwave.