For about 15 years , since my first child went to secondary school, my husband and I have had to endure seeing our children only during Christmas,Easter and long vacations.
The second joined three years after and the third, some five years after too.
Even when they are home on vacation, they have their own plans which rarely involves us unless it is a family event; they have all these shows, meet-ups and parties they attend .
In the spirit of seeing the blessing in every situation, the coronavirus has brought us all together as a unit with no one having any outing plans.Young adults always have something to do! Of course, they still spend a lot of time on their gadgets while being home but I have found a formula to that .Aside that they get bored chatting , watching movies , video-calling and playing games online , I have reminded them that too much of screen time is not good for their eyesight .
Having got their attention with that, I decided to come up with ideas that will keep us all together even if it’s for a few hours .I love cooking and trying new recipes and my boys love food so I decided to come up with a meal plan that has only dishes they have not had in awhile for various reasons.
Aside the benefits of nourishing , which is needed to boost our immune system , I have taken it as an opportunity to teach them to prepare some indigenous meals- enough of the ‘one-way’ dishes!I am also trying my hands on various smoothies, juice and snacks .I must admit that doing so keeps me engaged as well. Apart from reading occasionally and working , I am unable to spend hours on phone like other members of my family so I get bored.
A few days ago , I made Apapransa .All hands were on deck , although grudgingly.
Another time, we had kenkey and fish .We prepared everything from scratch .They were fuming but they were excited at the end.My last son said , “I buy this small fish for 10 cedis in school , I cannot believe all this fish we fried cost you 30 cedis”. He ate a whole lot of it.
My daughter is particularly not amused about this because she says I am disrupting her work hours and messing up her diet but in my defense , I tell her that she doesn’t have to join if she doesn’t want to and can fix something when she feels hungry.
We have also done ‘nkatie-cake’ , ‘tatale’, polo biscuits, ‘sobolo’,’plantain chips, ‘lamujin’ and prepared a rich Tom-brown mixture for breakfast .
We have also made pine-dandelion juice , watermelon and carrot juice, spinach-banana and others.
We have done some baking too . It is amazing to see all four of us , minus one at task.
Today, I am making ‘Ayi-kple’ , which is made from beans, cornflour and coconut and eaten with fish stew.
Although we seem to be eating a lot , I make sure that by 5pm , we are done eating .
In the mornings, we do some skipping .You should see me pant afterwards because I have not done any conscious exercising in awhile.
Apart from feeding our bodies, I ensure that we feed our souls by having our quiet time together as a unit – something we stopped when the empty nest set in.
My son is a doctor and I believe that he needs to be well-fed while at work too .So , after my daily meals, I send some off to him so he doesn’t have to eat out and be well-nourished for the task at hand .
On the other hand, I am also picking up my act on the use of technology and I’ve been introduced to some ‘cool’ apps too .After the routine I have given above, I relax in bed and catch up on some sites I have subscribed to on YouTube .
Anxiety and fear are relentless in these times but while praying and practicing all the prescribed precautions, I know that sooner or later, the Covid-19 shall pass. I am reminded that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”(Psalm 46:1).
As a mother, I am using the quarantine period to teach my children or rather, remind them of certain good to have skills while bonding and learning new things as well.
Ann Q- Ametorwo,
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