It was 8:30 am yesterday morning, and already a pan of chocolate brownies with peanut butter chips lay cooling on a wire rack set on the kitchen counter. The quiet house was echoing the loud strums of the washing machine on it's spin cycle.
The day before, I was whipping up a batch of magic cookie bars just minutes after the Craunlets closed the front door behind them.
On my way out to my car yesterday morning–headed again to the studio–I realized how alone I was. No little hand in mine. Arms empty of all the extra baggage, such as coloring books, matchbox cars, or polly pockets. I wondered how single I looked. Oddly walking down the few squares of sidewalk to my driveway and not dodging the errant strides of my little people underfoot. Does anyone notice? Does anyone wonder where my children are? I'm looking around curiously myself, like maybe they are lost.
Only, at the same time, I am beaming proud and excited of my two school-aged little people. Eager to hear their frantic and exuberant after-school reports of their days. Them both fighting in turn for a moment of air space and gulping in quick breaths that punctuate their long sentences.
And I am in the studio. Hitting a stride already with a book that I am working on currently. Now having consecutive hours and days to give it my attention. I am relearning my way around the presses, and the shop; reconnecting with the community of printmakers at Zygote. Using up every minute before my attention is back on Craunlet time, and I am quickly packing up to head to school for pick-up.
A rhythm is starting. And it's wonderfully bittersweet. At times I am singing at the top of my lungs, others I am quiet and pensive–if not a little lonely. It's like I have found a long lost favorite scarf. One that still fits perfectly, but is bringing my attention and memory to a season sweetly gone but well cherished. One lived out so fully. I look back with tears of absolute joy that I carved out the privilege to mostly-stay-at-home with my babes for seven years now, and the honor to know them so thoroughly.
I am excitedly shifting gears into this new season, where I can stock up their childhood memory bank. I'm focused right now on the after school snack. It's something tangible that I can hold onto fiercely with both hands. So most mornings, you will find that I am baking.