I’m pretty easy-going, but I’m totally that person who’s going to rearrange the dishwasher after you load it.
This morning Isabella woke early. I reached for my phone and turned it on to check the time. She began to nurse and I instantly succumb to scrolling, first the weather, then I’ll move on to pages of unread articles. Except this morning our internet was down. So I put my phone down. I basked in the quiet and looked at my little girl’s face.
Soon we were bouncing out of bed and starting the coffee and scooping plain yogurt and frozen blueberries onto a plate, sprinkling cinnamon on her yogurt. Sentences are already springing from my brain. I silently repeat a couple of ideas like mini mantras in an effort not to forget them. Normally I would steal a few minutes at the computer while she eats her breakfast, the two of us occupying the same table, together but apart.
Today the computer wasn’t an option. So I got my mug of coffee and sat down next to her while she ate, watched her pinch fat blueberries between her tiny fingers and deftly spoon yogurt into her little heart-shaped mouth. We chatted contentedly. She fed me blueberries, saying, “here you go, honey, you eat it.” Amidst the chatting and blueberry-sharing I reached for a pen and managed to fill up one page, catching the ideas I didn’t want to lose.
Technology runs insidious interference on our lives, seeps into every quiet gap creating a low and steady buzz. White noise, like the whir of a fan. I have a thing about white noise, especially the sound of a fan. It makes me tense and itchy. If a fan’s been running and then finally turned off, it’s the biggest relief. That’s how this morning felt. No interference. I was able to hear the natural rhythm of the morning and we moved to it in sync. I even got a little writing done.
I feel empty of words tonight. I’m under the weather. So I offer my kitchen windowsill, which is not a catchall but curated, and somehow, I think, says a lot about me.
Two carrot cakes are cooling on racks in the kitchen and the house smells like love. It’s always an early start around here. The moon was big and bright through the trees in our backyard, the snow still perfectly untouched.
In the midst of shredding the carrots and finding room for my big cookbook on the counter, Chris is making eggs and toast and the cats are asking for breakfast. Isabella pushes the stool over and climbs up to reach the Cuisinart and presses the “on” button for the first time with her strong, tiny two-year-old finger. She jumps, startled, and then a big smile blooms on her face, so delighted with the spinning eggs and sugar she set in motion all on her own. I don’t want to forget that moment.
During the cake making and breakfast cooking, the carrots remind me to grab the chicken bones from last night’s roast and get a stock going. While the eggs and sugar spin, I toss celery and onion into the stock pot, and then wash the breakfast pan. Efficient, fluid multi-tasking in the kitchen, that’s my thing.
Later we’ll go to a family gathering at my mom and stepdad’s to celebrate their birthdays. And I’ll bring the cake, my favorite way to say I love you.