My grandmother even made my dolly cloth diapers... which I changed at break neck speed, over and over and over in an effort to make sure that dolly was suitably comfortable.
Parenthood comes with an epic load of guilt. Or maybe that's just me. I don't know. It could be me. I know I'm probably the only person on the planet that grips the arm rest and closes both eyes tightly when ever anyone else is taking the turn up from my house. This may go along with that, I'm not sure.
I remember, guilt when I found out I was pregnant with my first, young, unmarried, embarrassed... guilt for bringing her into a less than perfect situation. Guilt for going back to work and leaving the tiny creature so dependent on me..I'd never been so enamored of a single individual, and yet, here I was leaving her in pursuit of the mighty dollar.
As time went on, I worked more and more, and she proved that she would be okay.
Until the day I heard her playing...she was being the mommy...and the mommy was too tired to play right now. I was ALWAYS too tired to play, because I gave EVERYTHING to my then career.
That was the end of my career. It actually took another month, and the birth of another child, to bring it to a screeching halt, but that moment was the defining end. I had been too involved with work to parent..too concerned about a restaurant that did, in fact, go on without me.
I missed so much with her. More guilt. But I'm fixing it...I'm home now. I drift into work twice a week and love every moment of it, but I stay home with the kids and love it and appreciate it and life couldn't be sweeter.
Except, I've locked my kids out of another part of my life too often...the cooking part. I love to cook. I love the smells, the sounds, the pats of butter...I just love it. It's been...mine. It needs to be ours.
I saw the longing in my oldest child's eyes the other night as she made pudding with her grandma and stirred at the stove. Tonight, I heard the middle child saying to her dolly... "I don't need any help. There's nothing you can do right now. Go play."
Their play is always a mirror. And it's not the kind of mirror that is always flattering or takes ten pounds off your bum. It's the kind that shows your flaws, in depth and technicolor.
I'm not a bad parent. In fact, I'm a pretty gosh darn good one. I work my butt off...I do play, I do enjoy them. But there's just no good reason for me to be so selfish with my kitchen. It's just habit.
A habit that will be broken. A habit I started working on today...we made rice krispy treats. Simple, classic, doable with a three year old.
I'm going to do more stuff like that.