The end of August is not the easiest of times. The novelty of summer has worn off, lost its gloss and charm. Summer camps are over, the last suitcases from vacation are half unpacked and staring dolefully at you. The kids are climbing the walls with boredom. The weather is unrelenting, the temperature climbing into the triple digits and staying high into the night. It’s too hot to cook, too hot to go to the park, or play in the yard.
This summer has not been the easiest time for me. I am usually breezy, with a joke every minute. But I felt unable to cope. And yet I found myself in my OB’s office at 8:30 one morning, sobbing.
Post partum depression was not something I expected. I didn’t have it when Nuni was born, but here I was, with a baby who cried a lot, a husband who worked a lot, a mother out of the country, a nearly- five year old who does nothing I tell her to, and a bucketful of hormones making me -literally – crazy. I wanted to enjoy my baby’s babyhood, rather than resenting it, but I felt like I couldn’t.
It took a good friend to send me a note saying, “I think you might have PPD”, a husband who talked the doctor into seeing me tomorrow, instead of two weeks from now, and some medication, but the fog has started to lift.
The meds have helped, but some days are still a struggle. I have to remind myself, every day, to focus on the blessings. The grins and coos of my little boy When he sees my face, the conversations with my big girl, a husband who is an active parent rather than a bystander. When I focus on these, I can slowly find the joy that surrounds me.
August has its blessings, too. The sun may feel oppressive, but it brings us ruby tomatoes and juicy peaches. This gazpacho takes advantage of those, with the added bonus that it requires no cooking. I keep a jar in my refrigerator, and no lunch is more refreshing on a hot day. When I embrace the season, I can find the joys of late summer.
- 4 slices French bread
- ½ cup cold water
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded
- 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 2 ripe peaches
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Green Tabasco (5 dashes or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to your taste
- Garnishes (optional): croutons, cilantro, diced cucumber
- In the bowl of a food processor, soak the bread in the water until soft.
- Add the pepper, tomatoes, peaches, garlic and vinegar, and blend until smooth.
- With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.
- Taste for seasonings, add salt, pepper and Tabasco. Garnish as you wish.
So happy to see you back on your blog. From my retired vantage point, I can say, this too will pass. I am glad you sought treatment – my 3 children were 14 years apart from top to bottom. It was insane to have a 14 year old, 4 year old and 4 month old and try to continue teaching in elementary school. I thought I would go nuts. Looking back, ii was the happiest of times. I know you will enjoy those beautiful children and they are lucky to have such a talented, sensitive mother.
Glad to see a post! I’m sorry you are dealing with PPD, but it will get better. I had it with my first and was (and still am) wondering if I have it with my second. It’s so much different this time around, but the thought is still there.
I’m glad your doctor was able to fit you in. Sending thoughts your way.
I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with this. Depression is simply awful, whether it’s postpartum or unrelated. Please know that I’m thinking about you.
thank you for this lovely sounding recipe. Does anymore know how many servings this makes? I want to make for a party of 12 people and don’t know if I should double. Thanks.