Thursday, February 24, 2011


Dash was sick for almost a week. He found his way into my bed every night, writhing, crying, and moaning. We would fall asleep in fetal position, back-to-back, connected at our sacrums. I wanted my Dash back. When he is sick he won't eat anything.

When he got better I bought him a present of 20 oysters.
"These are the present? These, mama? Really?" He stared me down. "I wanted a toy." He picked up an unshucked Kumamoto and licked it. "This moister tastes like the ocean." 

Moisters. Perfect. 

"They're still alive, Dashi. They were pulled out of the water this morning."

"Oh mama. When I die I want to be with you. Okay?"

"Dash, I don't know what happens when we die."

Actually I think I do know. But I'm trying not to force atheism down his throat.  I shifted the focus to the challenge of opening one of the oysters.
He asked for help. He clasped his hands to his chest in anticipation.
I showed him how to fold over a napkin and protect his hand while using the oyster knife. We angled the knife at 45 degrees and inserted the tip into the corner of the oyster. Jiggle, jiggle, and then joy as the tip slid in. And then we pried open this magnificent bivalve mollusk.

So much to discuss. Colorless blood. Three-chambered heart. Shifting gender. Potential for pearls.

No hesitation from Dash. No mignonette needed. This living breathing creature from the ocean went right into his mouth. Salt water dribbled down his chin.
"Mama, I wanted  a toy. But I do like what's inside these shells. I like the inside of the present." Much like the sardines he ate the week before, I chose not to mention that he was eating something very good for him. I'm getting really good at keeping my mouth shut.


  1. Yummmmm! I miss oysters. Seeing Dash slurp those beauties makes me homesick!
    We should all do a road trip up to Tomales Bay to Hog Island. Wouldn't Dash love to see where his presents came from?

  2. I have become a big fan of oysters in the morning at the Sunday farmers' market. It sounds kind of yucky, but isn't! Dash and Bella can come with us sometime and I'll treat him to breakfast.


  3. AWESOME! reminds me of our kids' first taste of oysters... it is a gift to be able to share with your children the joy of things like this!

  4. What sweet interactions between the two of you. On death, food and gifts. I am amazed and impressed he gulped it down. A brave kid. Love it.

  5. No way! My first time on here and I can't believe I saw your kid use a knife and slurp a raw ocean creature without hesitation.

    I think I'm in love.


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