It All Has To Start Somewhere

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last night Christopher and I watched that movie "Away We Go", have you seen it? The one where the cutest couple in the world (in terms of both personality and wardrobe) go on an adventure to figure out where they want to raise their unborn baby? With Jim from The Office and Maya Rudolph, the chick from SNL? ...Okay well anyways, I fell in love with that movie. I want to watch it over and over again. I didn't grow up feeling the way that Verona did (the pregnant lady, main character), towards her Mother. But I certainly do want my kids to feel that way about me.

I want to be a wonderful mother.

The movie reminded me to stop worrying about the stupid stuff. Making a mess in the kitchen, the other babies crying because I wasn't dividing my attention equally in that very moment (I'll never be able to do that)- things like that.

Because really, what stops me most of the time, from giving special attention to one child, is the thought of having to slightly neglect another in order to do it. Well I'm done with that. I'm done with the worry. They all need special attention, and they're going to have to take turns dealing with it.

So tonight I decided it was time that Eleanore start learning how to bake our way. Nobody else is going to teach her what flours do what, which starch has a more natural flavor, or what in the heck xanthan gum is- and besides, I want this kid baking circles around me by the time she hits middle school, so- we made biscuits.

With her hair a mess, and her hoodie on the floor- I pulled up a chair beside the counter for her to stand on, and closed the baby gate behind me, locking out intruders of the sibling and father variety.

She stood there in her pajama pants, anxious to learn. There were no distractions to break our concentration. Just a counter full of ingredients, the recipe taped to the cabinet in front of us, and a glass mixing bowl filled with tapioca, millet, and several other flours that would eventually come together to make up a side dish to our homemade chicken noodle soup.

She said she was cold, standing topless there in the kitchen, with her hoodie thrown onto the floor behind her. Well why didn't you wear a shirt then, go get one! ...but she didn't want to miss a thing.

Theres a rainbow in the bowl! she shouted

Do you see it there? Towards the middle? ...The sun was starting to set, and the light was streaming in through the back window, reflecting off of something and bouncing directly into our batter. Every time I'd press down and cut the butter into the flour, she'd yell "Stop! You're crunching the rainbow!".

No no, silly. Its still there. Even Mommy can't crunch a rainbow.

"Well I can!" she said, taking the tools into her own hands.

Crunch, crunch, crunch

And then a minute or two later, the sun had moved enough to where- Eleanore really had crunched the rainbow away. It was gone, and all that was left in the bowl was un baked biscuits. With a new ingredient. ...rainbow.

She had put all of the ingredients into the bowl herself, even the messy potato starch that fluffs up into the air and gets all over the counter. She had scooped out the baking powder, and leveled it off on the canister like a big girl. Shes the one that mixed all of the wet into the dry, creating an oh so delicious adaptation of what most Americans usually buy from a pop open can. I'm proud of you Elie.

Look at her tiny hands, resting gently on the counter top, anxious for something more to do- something new to learn.

She wants to help.
She wants to have meaning.
She wants to discover who she is.

And today I realized that I'm the one that has to open her eyes and heart to anything and everything, because if I don't, who will? you think I can steal a picture, in this beautiful moment of Mother daughter bonding?

Remember Eleanore, that it all has to start somewhere. And for you and me, it was in a bowl of gluten free biscuits.

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