It’s one of those days. Crying kids at 5:45 a.m. and they never went back to sleep. A long fitful night spent trying to decide which is worse: a rattling fan or the oppressive heat. A loaf of bread stuck in my face while still half asleep. The usual battle with the baby to make him nurse. An accident in the toddler’s pants. Pee on the bathroom floor. Another scorcher ahead of us.
On days like these, I have to force myself to take pleasure in the small things, to look beyond the disorder and messiness and noise and rush of home life, and focus on what’s really great. After getting the toddler his breakfast and cajoling a few spoonfuls of rice cereal into the baby’s slobbery mouth, I take some extra time to make myself the perfect latte – decaf, of course, which is sadly ironic. When I need the caffeine most of all, I can’t have it because the baby absolutely will not sleep. (Trust me, I’ve done very careful experiments, because that was not an easy thing to give up.)
I cut myself a piece of the fresh artisan bread I made yesterday, slather on some homemade strawberry jam, and sit down to savour the combination. With a deliciously chewy crust and moist crumb, the bread is fabulous. As for the latte, well, it hits the spot, minus that much-needed extra kick, but that’s okay. I can imagine it’s there.
The kids are crying, yelling, fighting, laughing, playing in the background. I could jump up a dozen times to fix their little problems or start clearing up the dishes or wipe up spilled water, but no, I remain seated at the table, flipping through a book, feeling the tension flow out of my body, eating, sipping, nourishing my soul.
I know I possess the ability to turn this day around and make it something great, and that’s what I’m going to do. I just have to start somewhere – with fresh bread and hot coffee.