I went back over to the house. This time The Husband graciously left for a couple hours so I could pack in peace. I decided to tackle the kitchen.
I cook and I bake. (For those of you that don't get the distinction, we'll talk later.) The tools for cooking were containable but the baking had over flowed to the garage and was quite an undertaking. Fortunately for me, she had a friend who was an Anthropology major turned Baker. A lovely, free spirited girl not likely to be swept up in the triteness of expectation. I decided The Baker would inherit the glut of my baking supplies. I used to be a Baker but I wasn't anymore.
I stopped baking last April. My bread machine sat floury and mute on the counter all summer until it got pushed to the corner of the dining room late in the fall. There were no fresh fruit pies. No yeasty knotted dinner rolls sprinkled with poppy seeds. And there were no Birthday cakes. Not a one.
I'd taken all the classes and, if I'd had the patience for brides, could have made wedding cakes. The birthday cakes in our family were fabulous confections of taste and artistry meant to impress small children and relatives. I enjoyed making them but I really just wanted to make everyone happy. I wanted to host the parties and family affairs that brought everyone together celebrating life's little inconsequential events. But I wasn't that baker anymore. I was someone else entirely.
After the shotgun incident I started saying that I grew up in an Ozzie and Harriet world not a Jerry Springer world. Clearly, I am not accustomed to the shift. I grew up in middle class suburbia where the real reason your parents sent you to college was to find you a professional for a husband. I had a stay-at-home Mom who spent her days keeping an immaculate house and garden. She worked her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking forty years before Julie and Julia hit the screen. Most people had stew or meatloaf. We had Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin.
My Mom was a beautiful, self-educated, delightful woman that I thought I was supposed to be. Mother. Wife. With the end goal of a lovely two story on a cul de sac and possible waterfront vacation property. That's what I thought. So when she started kicking the insides of my womb in my 23rd year that's the path I headed down. A path including two husbands, houses of increasing grandeur, fabulous hand sewn Halloween costumes, dinner parties, wallpaper books and tomato plants started from seed. The one part I never got was the stay-at-home. I worked. And I worked. And my beautiful Mother got Alzheimer's and can't even butter a piece of toast.
It turns out the path I was on wasn't mine at all. It was borrowed and I was ready to give it back. It turns out I was the kind of woman who could be happy clicking away on her laptop and dreaming of the beautiful blue eyed Boy she'd lost. I was finding my new reality in my tear stained pillow cases and I didn't need any pans shaped like Spiderman to define me. I was starting over, I hoped for the last time.
I put together a couple boxes with fluted brioche pans, candied fruits and a good rolling pin for The Baker because I knew she was never going down the path I had been on. She'd stepped outside of the candy mold and was herself.
She wouldn't go down that path either. I'd known that long before she'd kissed the Girl that she would choose an unconventional path and I was secretly delighted. I didn't want her to be me. The only part of me I'd wish for was that she would find that one love she would lose everything for. Just like I had. I just hoped she was smarter than me and would not lose it. ~Dazzledgirl