Let’s be honest. I have not manually grated anything with the exception of some lovely Romano cheese over a plate of pasta. During this hosting have already seen grating of beets, which was alright, Phil and Daniela were in charge there. But today I grated potatoes, raw ones, on a very old vintage grater, it may have been my parents’ grater. It’s quaint for cheese. It’s hard labor for potatoes. D couldn’t understand what I was doing with such outdated equipment, I showed her my 25 year old Cuisinart to which she typed “it will make juice”. A roll of the eyes and so she carried on…
She was determined to make these potato pancakes without me interfering with my American prehistoric cooking knowledge; for example breaking spaghetti. But honestly, I could see she was struggling with my grater. So I stepped in and began to grate and smile. My biceps began to burn. She found solitaire on the tablet next to me. I kept my chin up and kept grating and I started to think Good Lord why would anyone EVER even want potato pancakes, except maybe at a restaurant where some other fools grate the potatoes. She typed me a message on the tablet “If I was at home I would have crushed 15 potatoes already” I kept grating. She kept playing solitaire. I texted Phil…get a grater … a big one and fast!
This is what I learned about Daniela today: She is a perfectionist, she takes pride in things done well and wants to excel. Frustration comes quickly when things don’t go according to plan. But she keeps on going. I thought the potatoes were heading to the trash when she became frustrated.
Another intuitive thought hit me in this deep spiritual moment. Seriously what would Jesus do? Not in the wwjd bracelet kind of way, but the I am supposed to be living like Him kinda way. Apparently when He is not making nutella sandwiches for snarky teens, He helps them ease their frustration by grating potatoes with primitive equipment and smiles.
This young lady is bright and shining for a moment, dark and brooding in the next. She terrifies me, she makes me laugh, she reminds me of how awful sixteen can be and how hard it is to straddle the world between child and adult.
Phil came home and we finished cooking … sweaty but happy. I slipped her the water bottle I used to spray the dogs to make them quit barking and she nailed him. [It was a sneak attack! LOL – Phil]. She erupted into genuine laughter and ran away so there could be no pay backs. We all got silly and goofy and finally sat down to amazing potato pancakes. Ours with sour cream and applesauce, hers with jam. they were absolutely fantastic!
Then came the dessert – homemade Russian Napoleon tort. Words cannot describe the sweet deliciousness of this cake. The only thing more delicious at the table was the sight of Daniela laughing, pantomiming, understanding, conversing, beaming, smiling, eating and enjoying our company as a family. Is this a miracle in the making right before our eyes? Of course it is. Did we see this coming? Perhaps, but I will tell you that Phil was very frustrated a mere 72 hours ago!
The power of love standing steadfast against fear is a slack-jawed, eyes wide open kind of incredible miracles. Tomorrow may bring its own issues but for the past 48 hours God’s love, given to us and then re-gifted to Daniela, has leaped tall buildings in a single bounds and broken through the cracks in her walls.
If ever we needed proof that love triumphs over fear and hate and negativity, if ever we needed proof that love can scale the walls built around hearts, if ever we needed proof that God’s plan for loving Him and loving others is all we need to melt away some of the sadness, what is happening here with Daniela is that proof.