88. “Let it ride.”

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My sister texted me a picture of a beautiful fish Timmy had grilled for dinner a while ago. It was covered in some nice fresh-looking sauce with lots of diced tomatoes and onions etc. in it. The accompanying text informed me that there was major drama at the dinner table when this fish had been presented as the meal. The kids are unused to seeing a fish with all of its body parts – a fillet is more approachable for them.

The next time we spoke on the phone I asked Ai Ai how she had managed to get the children to eat the fish (once they did, they thought it was yummy). “Well,” she recounted, “We removed all the sauce, took off all the skin…and then we called it chicken!” Now I think both children are old enough to know that fish is not chicken, but the charade was primarily for the youngest, and I think they both played along since it made them feel better.

My siblings started referring to any meat as “chicken” after hearing a mom at a conference assure her daughter that the pork on the supper table was indeed “chicken,” so she should feel comfortable eating this familiar food. Since then we have all become familiar with chicken-pork, chicken-lamb, chicken-beef, and now, the “chicken part of the fish.” Hey – desperate times call for desperate measures.

Many years ago a bunch of us were at lunch at the Tans’ favorite Chinese place and there was a lovely whole fish on the lazy susan. It is one of our favorite dishes – simply called, “fish with meat sauce.” That’s how Tans like their fish – slathered in beefy goodness. C(Kh) was there and did the very proper and gentlemanly thing to do when he asked Uncle B(W), who was seated next to him, if he could serve him some fish. “Let it ride, C(Kh), let it ride,” was all Uncle B(W) said as someone else rotated the lazy susan, and the fish rolled by.

Since then, the phrase, “Let it ride,” has made it into our family/chapel lexicon. Since my cognitive faculties were spared I remembered this story and the saying. There have been some desperate times during this recovery process, and from the very beginning Mommy has told me to, “Let it ride.”