Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bread Therapy

It has been such a rough week. It certainly hasn't been all bad, especially because I've learned a lot this week about what I'm capable of (and what skills continue to elude me) - but it's been extraordinarily difficult.

I could tell that this morning, my husband was treating me with kid gloves - and I really regret any time that he feels compelled to do that. I am enough trouble on a daily basis without forcing him to walk on eggshells! He just knows me well enough to know when I wake up extra sensitive or extra gripey.

Early church with my family helped, then I was on duty to be with the infants during the later service. One little baby boy was so attached to me that he never wanted to leave my lap for more than a minute. He'd go off to explore a toy then come toddling right back to me with his arms open, ready for a hug. If that doesn't cure a person of all that ails them, I don't think there's any hope for them.

My week ended, however, with my own little boy being knocked down a hill by a big dog. The good thing is that it is obvious this dog was trying to play - there was no malicious intent. However, that doesn't change the fact that it really scared my son (understandably) and cut him up a bit. I was on my own with him while it was happening, I was trying to move slowly because I could tell the dog wasn't angry and I wanted to keep both the dog and my son from going into a panic. I quickly but calmly made my way over to him and held the dog away, then spent the next few minutes holding my arms around my screaming son and keeping him from running from the dog. (Because if he ran, the dog would clearly have thought it was a game and knocked him over again.) It was a just a few minutes but felt like a lot longer before my husband showed up in the car (he'd thankfully heard the screaming and rushed over to help).

During the whole dog episode, I wasn't feeling much. My mind was just spinning and I think I was evaluating the emotional state of my son and the dog and figuring out the best way to handle it and protect my boy. Afterwards, however, I was NOT ok. I guess it's the classic case of not feeling the emotions until it's all over. I can't help but think that this week has been one big huge test. I'm not sure I've passed it, but the fact that I've survived must count for something.

As therapy for this emotional rollercoaster, it seemed that my best option was to try a new bread recipe. So my hair is up in a scarf (I've learned it will end up in the dough otherwise...yuck) and I just finished the first round of kneading challah. This recipe will rise for 12 hours in the fridge, which means my therapy will continue into the morning. There is something therapeutic about putting my hair up and smelling yeast mixed with warm water. I suppose my maternal ancestors had plenty of times they couldn't protect their children the way they wanted (some of them barely survived the potato famine and were a bit crazy by the time they made it to Texas) and maybe all they could do some Sunday evenings was make bread for their family. If they could survive the British, smallpox, and Texas summers with no air conditioning - then I think I can learn to handle my own little problems.

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