Friday, July 8, 2011


We were supposed to be drifting in a canoe on a lake, but instead Ivory is drifting in and out of sleep on the sofa. I cancel all of our play dates, and resign myself to a quite day at home. I pick up the yard (where does all this clutter come from?) drifting in and out of the bedroom the living room and the yard to check on the sleeping children. It is a drifting kind of day.

The flat pod peas Ivory planted weeks ago are ready to be harvested.

But picking them can wait for her, and I leave them hanging, translucent in the morning sun. “Stir-fried with thin slices of beef”, I think to myself.

Between naps, we read chapters of Lucy and the Green Man by Linda Newbery. We read about the passing of seasons, summer waning, winter arriving. That seems so far away. Summer and sunshine seem to have just now entered our lives. We read about Lucy's grandpa passing away and my voice cracks a little and I wish I had known my grandpa as well as Lucy knew hers. Ivory doesn't notice. She just cuddles closer: “I want you Mama”.

It is a cuddling kind of day.
We drift from the sofa, her bed, my bed.
We draw pictures to send to grandparents.
And just when she seems to feel a little better, the sun hides the wind picks up and raindrops fall from the sky. What better thing is there to do on a rainy day than bake a cake? “Lets bake a cake”, I say.

So we measure, pour and stir: Peanut butter cake made with whole wheat flour. I put the pan in the oven and we cuddle. I try making a new icing - Chocolate Fudge. Ivory wants the cake to have a picture of a mouse on it... so, it gets a picture of a mouse on it. When my husband comes home, we are back on the sofa... “I got a raise”, he says. “Great”, I say grinning, “we made a cake to celebrate”.

In graduate school I had an adviser tell me: “You can lose the battle, but still win the war”, and while I don't mean to label motherhood or family life as a combat situation, it is some of the best advice I have ever received. The days on which I remember this advice go smoother and are more stress free for me and my kids. Sometimes the best laid plans just disappear, and that is okay - just drift.


  1. Ivory is lucky to have a mother who can turn a day of busted plans into a day of cuddling and relaxation, and then end it with a scratch cake! And just when you are surprised with a reason to celebrate!

  2. I want a mouse cake, too!