I have always baked bread in times of sorrow. Or joy. There's something about my chemical makeup that feels contented and useful and providing when I get my hands in the dough, mixing and pounding and kneading, making a minor miracle out of ordinary household ingredients.
You can get a lot of stress out, baking bread.
I can't remember my mother baking, nor my grandmothers, but there must have been someone - it's usually generational, isn't it? And while my daughter is eager to climb up on the chair, lean over the counter, and smack the daylights out of the dough, she's a bit young yet to share confidences with, or to work out possible solutions while wrist-deep in flour-dust and yeast granules. To ponder and think and make strategies that perhaps don't solve the world's problems, but bring me closer to center.
It's probably best that I have this time alone, when my hands are more useful than my lumbering brain. Pondering something over is hard when it's time for urgent talks about plastic ponies and school assignments and who's going after who on the playground.
She'll be grown soon enough. Some day when she's a bit older, some day when nothing has gone right, when it's all horrible and she can't seem to catch a break - that's when I'll ask her to come talk to me in the kitchen.
That's when I'll show her how easy it is to take your frustrations out on a lump of forgiving dough, and how the sweet smell of the rising yeast can make you think of new pathways, new ways of trying to work things out. How waiting for the next step of a recipe is a lot like life - good, bad, or indifferent, all things happening in their turn. How things usually - not always, but usually - look better in the morning.
That's when I'll show her how to make bread.
photo credit: foooooey
This is an original Canada Moms Blog Post. Jessica blogs here and sometimes here, and usually leaves traces of flour on the keyboard.