Today was my six-week doctor's appointment. Grandma and Grandpa had graciously offered to stay with Cruz, so I planned a morning of a much-needed run to the bank, the grocery store, and the pharmacy following my appointment. Besides quick trips here and there, I haven't left Cruz; although I knew he was in the best hands, I'm still getting used to being away from my little man. It's weird. A part of me looks forward to the few hours of 'me time,' however, once I'm out of the house, alone in my car, I find my foot pressing a little harder on the gas pedal, hurrying my way through errands, speeding past yellow lights, and skipping 'important,' stops in order to get home.
What I hoped would be a half hour, in-and-out appointment, ended up lasting an hour and a half, an hour of that spent thumbing through a September issue of Better Homes and Gardens, replying to text messages I had neglected for two weeks, and wishing I was home, in pajamas, rocking my baby boy. The longer I waited, the worse the errands I was planning on running sounded, and by the time I was called for my appointment, my blood pressure was high and I was more than ready to just be home.
Last night after Beau got home, I attempted to finish a baking spree I had successfully started the night before. See, I can't just order a cake for Cruz's baptism and call it good. I need to have a dessert platter of chocolate covered cherries, almond bark pretzels, and fancy cake balls, complete with lollipop sticks and pretty blue ribbon tied around the top (see picture below for inspiration).
I'm fairly confident that I'm a pretty good cook; however, when it comes to baking, especially recipes that call for melting and dipping chocolate, I'm truly one disaster in the making. Two hours later, with a counter covered in chocolate remains, cake batter, and about every spoon I own, I was nearing the end of my rope. Don't get me wrong, I can chocoholic with the rest of ya, but there is nothing worse than cleaning leftover melted chocolate from bowls, utensils, and countertops. By the time I had the dishes cleaned, the countertop cleared, and the dark chocolate dishwater drained, I was exhausted. With one hand, I took my baking sheet and headed for the fridge. As I went to place my 30-some cake balls on the bottom shelf of the fridge, I managed to drop a heavy bowl of leftover salsa right in the middle of the sheet, smashing most of my chocolate disaster. It was one of those tragic moments that leaves you dumbfounded and speechless, sitting on the kitchen floor, covered in nothing but salsa, chocolate, and shame.
Getting in the car and driving to Hy-Vee for cake mix, dipping chocolate, and lollipop sticks did cross my mind for a split second. When it comes to cooking and baking, I don't like things going wrong in my kitchen. But what did I do instead? I sighed, coughed back a couple of tears, and threw the entire baking sheet, lollipop sticks and all, into the trash.
I'm not going to lie, it was a liberating experience for me. The sound of the half-melted cake balls hitting the insides of the trash can sounded like a choir of angels singing 'I Will Survive.' Yes, it was a disaster with about four hours of wasted time and now, no cake balls to show for it. But, the show will go on. Cruz will be baptized on Sunday, cake balls or not, and we will live (probably healthier) without them.
Instead of moping in the middle of my kitchen disaster and wallowing in my Monday-Blues, I picked up my little, wrapped him in a blankie, and escaped to his room for some storytime. We read Pajama Time, and I rocked him to sleep with the tree lit and Christmas music on. Drowned out the weary world around us and focused on his sweet little face. As he laid across my chest, resting his head on my left arm, I had the perfect view of his face. I watched his eyes get heavy and fall shut, revealing the little eyelashes beginning to grow. He fights it, the slits of his eyes continuing to study my every move as I mouth the words, hop into bed, turn out the light, you can have a party in your dreams tonight. His mouth and cheeks are the last to give in, continuing to take little sucks of his pacifier that make the sweetest little squeak. His hand is weaved around the chain of my necklace, and rests under the collar of my shirt. As he sleeps, he continues to make little noises, a combination of little baby breaths, grunts, and squeaks, creating the perfect harmony with the music in the background.
This little moment outweighed the four hours of kitchen disaster I had just experienced. It was as if Cruz knew we needed that quiet little moment together. The reality check I needed to forget all that are cake balls.
All these moments...the big, the small, the silly, the mundane, the disasters, the adventures, are what life is all about.