Monday was supposed to be my not-quite-two-year-old’s first day back to daycare after a few weeks at home for vacation and post-travel COVID testing. So you can imagine our joy when he came down with—and shared with his parents—a summer cold of some magnitude. Despite not feeling 100%, I decided to attempt our first-ever baking project. What could go wrong?
I prepped the ingredients as best as I could, measuring spoon- and cupfuls for him to dump in the bowl as he sat on the floor. I felt like super mom, moving from flour to salt to baking powder quickly enough that there was no time for him to overturn the bowl, which he seemed wont to do. He even whisked the egg, milk and butter with minimal overflow and neatly positioned the muffin wrappers in the pan. I couldn’t believe it as he waited patiently for me to fill the cups and place the pan in the oven. With tremendous satisfaction, I turned to him and said, “now’s the fun part; we can sample the batter!” Simultaneously, we took a bite and then nearly spit it out. In all of my haste and distraction, I’d forgotten the sugar.
This seems an appropriate metaphor for how I’ve handled much of the last year and a half. Focused on survival, I have often neglected to take in or remember that which makes life a bit sweeter. It is an understandable reaction, yet as the muffin fiasco drove home, there are times when that sweetness isn’t just nice to have, but absolutely necessary. And after all, God promised the people a land flowing with milk and honey.
Thankfully, this time, the sweetness came in a different form. There would have been moments when my vain striving under difficult circumstances would have landed me in a puddle of tears on the floor. But that’s a bit harder to do with a little one dancing around the kitchen singing, “Yucky! Yucky! Yucky!” with a big smile on his face. As I retrieved the muffins and tossed them in the trash, knowing I had neither the stamina nor the ingredients for a second batch, I could only laugh at myself. Oh well, super mom. Better luck next time.
With prayers that sweetness and joy may spring up amidst our resilience,