What Really Counts?

I bought four scallops at Sprouts.

The remarkable part about this, if something uneventful could even be considered remarkable, is not that I bought scallops (love them) or went to Sprouts (I’m there every week), but that I ended up with four.

At the counter, I asked for “a few” scallops, the unfamiliar request sounding strange as soon as I said it. Some things we only purchase by weight and never by count, even if we have an idea of how many individual pieces we will end up with.

Scallops fall into this category.

These were wild caught, and fresh. All of these things made them much more appealing than that lonely looking chicken breast the next case over. Still expensive on sale, I rationalized that just a few is all I needed.

I cooked them tonight. I read a refresher on a brown butter sauce, made sure my pine nuts were unspoiled, clipped some sage from the yard. When it was time to reap what I sowed, I had sudden thoughts about that two pair, arranged in symmetry on my plate.

For a while I struggled with how many people there are in my family. Is Hank included or not? Are there four of us Mathays, or five? Years ago I made peace on how to answer this, and the answer is….whatever feels right at the moment.

As I unwravel my marriage, what is my number now?

The theme that we will stick to in the coming weeks when we tell the kids about us divorcing is that we will still be a family but we will live in separate houses, and not be married. A pair will split, but there still will be four. Or five. I’ve thrown a new number into the mix.

A) “Hi! I’m a single mom with two kids.”

B) “Hi! I’m a single mom with three kids, and one of them was stillborn.”

C) “Hi! I’m a single mom who has a good co-parenting relationship with my ex and we are all hunky-dory and we have three kids but one passed away so we have two that run around.”

Ummm….D? All of the above?

Family will always be fluid, which I heartbreakingly learned on October 16, 2012. All family units are the Lokis to the world, always shapeshifting, sometimes in a tricky way that can’t ever be fully explained, but only felt.

I may get more scallops tomorrow. My mom will be here, and they are her favorite. Plus, I have a lot of sage to use up and who likes turkey in July?

I’ll ask for a pound (like a normal person would). When I get home and carefully peel back the brown paper, I’ll count them.

A true count of scallops in a pound could be different each time, depending on size and density. However many I get tomorrow (and however I answer the family question) will be the right answer for that moment in time. And, that’s really all that counts.

5 thoughts on “What Really Counts?”

  1. And it’s totally okay to not say anything. Or I’m Anne. I’m a busy professional, blogger, and have a dedicated family who I love.

  2. I’m sorry for this newest journey in your family. You are a wonderful human being dealt some crappy stuff. But your shine keeps shining. Happy to be learning and reading some powerful thoughts and they were timely. My moms in the ER today after a fall and so scared and my best friend. It’s how she feels that breaks my heart and I struggle with how to move through it. But then I read your message- it just felt good to see some life perspective other than despair. Not sure if I explained it but either way thanks for sharing. Sorry such a long message- told you I needed it ? xxoo

  3. Anne, from the time we first connected (via 3Day and pugs) I have always felt you were an amazing person. You shine through all that you have been through, you use it all to make something positive come from it. I know you will be ok in this next journey and I look forward to your updates. You are awesome!

  4. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, answer each question when it comes…and only if you want to. You’re amazing and real and inspiring! Love you!!!

  5. This made me tear up because your perspective is beautiful and painful at the same time. The Pyle’s are here for you. I remember the day you told me about Hank and where I was. I’ll remember today as well. Sending all my love. And when you need an escape there’s a fun place in NC for you to visit!

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