Over the years, my husband has typically taken care of practically everything to do with making meals in our house, mostly because one of my obstacles with OCD has always been around touching and preparing food (especially things like egg and meat). Trying to cook or bake (as much as I do love to bake) has always been a source of anxiety for me and resulted in much more hand washing than one without OCD might partake in under the same circumstances.
So, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I rarely prepare food. Even simple things. However, since my husband is at work for days at a time, I’ve had to learn to move past that obstacle to a certain extent. Especially since having started medication for OCD almost a year ago, I’ve noticed a huge shift in my ability to take on some of the meal preparation duties.
That being said, I feel very behind in any of my culinary skills, even when it comes to basic things like cutting fruits and vegetables. So, this week, when my husband was at work and my son said he’d like an apple with peanut butter, it wasn’t hard for me to say yes like it might’ve been in the past. However, as I worked to cut the apple skin off for him and slice it all around the core haphazardly into random, asymmetrical chunks, I felt a bit self-conscious about it.
I started thinking about the way my husband had cut an apple for our son a few days prior, with similarly sized, symmetrical slices, and worried our son might say something about the way I’d cut them.
And then this morning, after having returned home from work yesterday, my husband sliced an apple for him for breakfast. I was sleeping in a bit longer and could hear my son start to express frustration about something. He ran into the room and right up to the bed, holding the plate full of perfect apple slices, and said with a hint of desperation, “Mama! Will you teach Dada how to cut it like you do??”
Oh, my heart. ❤️ Even writing that just made me pause as my eyes welled up with tears. Not only had he not scoffed at my imperfect slices, but he actually preferred them that way. How could that be?
Have you ever had someone come along and love something about you that is the very thing you always question and doubt and critique about yourself? It’s hard to believe at first. It takes time for it to sink in that they could possibly see this imperfect thing we see in ourselves as something wonderful that they appreciate about us.
It’s kind of like they’re teaching us that it’s possible to see ourselves in a new light, to tell ourselves a different story, to reframe and redefine what we imagine to be valuable and worthy.
My way of cutting apples isn’t pathetic or clumsy. It’s creative and fun. And good enough! 😀🍎✨
When we tell ourselves stories like I did, it’s so important that we take a moment to stop and question whether they’re true. We need to let ourselves wonder about whether there might be a different way to perceive something or someone else, including ourselves.
Personally, I believe there always is. And I forgot that for a moment.
But my son’s love of creatively chopped chunks of apple reminded me.
And I hope it reminds you, too.