I should be writing…but instead I am making zucchini bread

My 4th loaf is in the oven as I type this…and since I have gained 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks I shouldn’t be making my 4th loaf. But without an intervention I am headed into the kitchen to make my 5th batch. I still have zucchini and flour that must be used. Right?

I am using the mixer I got as a wedding gift in 1981 to make the bread. It’s a Sunbeam. I don’t think it was an especially expensive model or brand, back in the day, but they just seemed to make things to last back then.

I still have my Maytag washer from the early 90‘s. Recently I needed a service call to rebalance the tub and asked if I should simply replace it. The repair man, who may not have been as old as the washer, enthusiastically advised me to hold on to it as long as I could, saying, they don’t make them like this any more. His excitement sounded like he could have been talking about a vintage car.

Sadly however, I think my 32 year old mixer is dying. In the middle of my 2nd batch it began to sputter to a stop then accelerate to a speed that sent the zucchini batter air-born. It did this each time I turned my back to reach for something I needed; like a spatula to help it along; or the jar of cinnamon; or when my head was in the oven checking the other loaves with a toothpick. The beaters began to pick up speed, reaching full throttle, followed by the sound of thick dough hitting solid surfaces. Everything was in slow motion. You know the phenomenon when you can’t move fast enough to stop something bad from happening.

Many years ago I remember watching Jena fly down the driveway on her bike, beach towel around her neck, going to meet friends at the lake. As I sat on the deck, grateful  she was old enough to swim on her own so I could lounge a bit longer, her beach towel caught in her front tire and over her handle bars she flew. I saw it all in slow motion as I jummppedd uup aaand rraann doowwnn tthe stteeppss tooo hheerrr.

So it was with the mixer as I rreeaaacchhed tooooo tttuuurrnn iiiitttt ooofffff.

Both times there was a mess to clean up.

So why, you may ask, am I making ALL OF THIS DAMN BREAD?

I will tell you. Some of you have mentioned that I have not posted since the 15th. The Monday after the wedding.

Before the wedding I told my soon-to-be daughter-in-law that although they had been engaged for 2 years, and owned a home together, that rituals are powerful acts of intention and that the wedding ceremony would change them.

Well, I don’t know if that has been their experience, but it sure as hell has been mine. Since their wedding I have been suffering from what Tom lovingly calls Postpartum- Empty-Nest-Wedding-Depression-Syndrome.

I didn’t write because I could not yet verbalize what I was feeling and I was so absorbed in what I was feeling there was nothing else to write about.

Henceforth, no blog posts.

So this morning, after 6 loaves…yeah I made more…of homemade bread, I can talk/write. Doing something that offered instant gratification, unlike child rearing, was what I needed to soothe what ailed me.

The truth is I don’t know how to be my kids mom anymore.

My kids no longer need me in their everyday life. I am no longer their taxi service, their chief cook and dish washer, their special events planner, or the arms that hold them in the middle of the night when they are frightened. So if I am none of these, what am I?

How do I include myself in their adult lives?

I don’t have a model for this evolved relational style. My mom and I never bridged this transition, for many, many reasons. As a consequence of this, I feel lost. And a bit, okay, a lot, worried they will drift from me and I will become a clinging, you’ll miss me when I am dead, mom.

Truth be told, I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I raised two really interesting people and I like them.

It was suggested to me by a wise friend, that gave me the zucchini from her garden, that I ask Landon and Jena to co-create this next stage with me. What a novel idea…I hadn’t even thought of that. My paradigm still one of…as the mom I will figure it out and present it. Clearly, if we are moving toward an adult-to-adult modus operandi, I need to include them.

Perhaps this is the beginning and I don’t need to have any more figured out…even though I really, really, like to have things figured out.

I think I will give Landon a call see if he wants to come over for dinner…Lauren is out of town.





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