Buckwheat Pancakes: As Good as it Gets

If you were to look at my calendar, half the week is open, with meetings and appointments here and there. I'm an organizational development consultant with not much work right now and a GREAT childcare arrangement (Mary) which I'm not messing with, work or no work.  The other half is marked KID DAYS  in giant capital letters.  Kid Days mean the following:

  • 6:30:  Wake or be woken by the kids (Yancey is already gone) and make breakfast, try to read a bit of the paper.
  • 6:31:   Check Google Analytics to see how many people visited my blog the day before.
  • 8:30:  Leave to pick up Milo (3) and Oscar (6).
  • 8:45:  Drop Oscar and Wyatt off at school.
  • 9:00:  Drive around with Milo and Loretta until a bright idea occurs (like meeting Naomi and Isaac at the park this morning--thanks, guys!).
  • 11:30:  Home for lunch (not that I really care much for occasions like meals).
  • 12:00:  Loretta takes a nap, sometimes Milo does.  I clean house, blog, pay bills, write letters, make phone calls for work, fart around on Facebook, enjoy a brief respite from Milo and Loretta fighting like bitter enemies, sometimes pray or meditate.
  • 2:30:  Get Loretta up, get Milo and Loretta's shoes on to go pick up the "big boys," as we call them.  How many times a day do I put shoes on?  
  • 3:00:  Arrive at school, say hello to all the amazing teachers and staff at Van Asselt Elementary and think how tired they  must be.
  • 3:15:  Go to the park with all 4 kids if it's sunny, home if not.  Whatever I do, I pack snacks.  That's the most necessary element of the hour after school.  Remember after-school hunger?
  • 4:30: Kids watch whatever is on PBS, I pick up toys.
  • 5:00:  Mary picks up kids, I start making dinner (which I have compulsively planned all day long).

Let it be said--shouted from the rooftops,even--that my life and Kid Days are an absolute cakewalk.  A cakewalk compared to Angie with 3 kids under 3 or Naomi, who has two boys with lots of special needs.  And definitely a cakewalk when I think about women all over the world who are carrying water, worrying about how to feed their children, or victims of violence, discrimination, or war.  I am not in their number, but I try to remember them every day, lending my extra strength and privilege, if that's possible.

So, after that giant disclaimer, Kid Days are often hard for me.  I get bored, tired, impatient, restless.  I'm not one of those women who disappears into Kidland for hours on end or likes to arrange a bunch of craft projects. I think God gave me such assertive, verbal children so I would have to pay attention to them.  There's no way they're going to fade into the background or let me get lost in my own world for too long.

Today was one of those days when I woke up and the hours stretched in front of me like an eternity.  One antidote for that is making pancakes.  That's one good thing about my day.  (If you want the recipe for these buckwheat pancakes, go here. Just leave out the bananas and sub 1/2 cup buckwheat flour for the oat bran that's called for.)

And there were lots of other good things about my day.  Too many to list, really.  One was that I got to do some workplace coaching over the phone.  She called me back later and said the conversation with her boss went perfectly. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people experience reconciliation and honesty with each other.  

And just a few of the other good things are recorded in these photos.  As always, some of them have to do with food. For me, cooking (and eating!) is the beautiful, predictable backbone of even the hardest days.  And now, writing about it is one of the others.  Thank you for following along.