It brought back the days when my babies actually were babies, and each new day was wide open--sometimes oppressively so--because it was up to me to structure it, define it, and make something meaningful of the long hours ahead. Nowadays our family schedule is defined by school, activities, playdates, church, etc. Though I am no good when it comes to rushing (I hate yelling up the stairs to remind the kids to brush their teeth while I'm packing lunches and checking work email), I hadn't really realized how nice it is to not bear sole responsibility for the day.
tree we'd made, a long time ago.
We walked around the neighborhood and delivered a few sort of healthy cookies to some dear neighbors, and by the time we returned and I was making dinner I had that familiar feeling in my limbs, that surging desire to move that used to accost me every day around 5 pm when I was home full time with the kids. Tonight, while I was simmering chick peas, nothing could have made me happier than a long uphill hike. But of course that didn't happen; I finished making dinner and sat down to sing grace with my family instead.
But as familiar as it all felt, nothing illustrated how different things are in our house today than the moment this evening when I jumped up and asked Frances with a smidgen of alarm what she had in her mouth. We were reading The Middle Moffat, heads touching, and I heard what I thought was a small, chokable plastic bead rolling against her teeth. I imagined she'd found it in the couch cushions and had unthinkingly popped it in her mouth.
With affectionate exasperation, she explained that the sound came from wiggling her loose tooth. "When they're really loose, Mama, they sound juicy."
Oh. I see. What was I thinking? My friends, babyhood was such a long time ago.
Healthy-ish Peanut Butter-Banana-Apple-Chocolate Chip Cookies(modified just a wee bit from this recipe)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 peeled, diced apples
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Combine bananas, peanut butter, and sugars. Add baking powder and salt; stir. Add flour and flax 3/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Fold in apples and chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, flatten the top of each cookie with a spatula, and bake at 375 for about 12 minutes.