Thursday, March 17, 2005

so that's how they do it

I had pretty much given up on this week. I hosted a big event on campus Tuesday and I was wiped out at the end of the day, then taught all day Wednesday. Had an obligation Wednesday night. And another tonight. For tonight, I was supposed to provide bread, which at one time I had planned to bake.

By Monday I had already given up on the baking. It was just not going to happen, along with the midterms that weren't going to get graded, the dinners that weren't going to get cooked...where do all those things go, anyway, those things you planned to do that don't get done? I began to imagine this lovely clean place, somewhere, with piles of graded exams and the aroma of freshly-baked bread wafting through. Mmm.

Anyway. I was coming down with a cold on top of everything else and I was jettisoning responsibilities right and left. And it was starting to feel good. I was starting to think I might get through the week after all, and the kids would still be alive and I would still be married and I would still have a job. And that was really as high as I needed to set my goals.

Then a mail truck stopped at the four-way stop on our corner this morning at 4:40, downshifting as it slowed into the stop. And then it started up again, which is when I consciously heard it.

By 5:30 I realized I really was not going to sleep any more, and by 6:00 I was out of bed. And baking.

Well, bakers are early risers, right? And which would you rather do, grade midterms or bake bread? In a sleep-deprived fog?

It was Irish soda bread, so no yeast or rising time or anything. By 8:00 I had four loaves baked. And the thing is, I feel a tiny bit guilty taking them to this event tonight. Some other parent who didn't wake up at an ungodly hour is going to have brought bread from the bakery (which will, by the way, taste terrific), and is going to feel judged when s/he (ok, I know it's going to be a "she") sees my home-baked loaves. Which were really just early-morning therapy.

I'm sure that other mom has a much cleaner house, though.

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