Hanging in there, feeling stressed. Desserts, spelled backwards. Somehow today there seemed to be too much to do and too little time, money, and energy. The children were over-tired and bored, having had too much fun (and too little sleep) over the weekend. Middle Child whined and complained, Eldest snapped at Youngest, Youngest burst into tears at the slightest provocation. Heavy clouds rolled over us, painting the sky over our little displaced-farmhouse with blue-gray sweeps. The dog restlessly paced in front of the door.
The air grew tangibly heavier as the evening wore on. Dinner was rushed, moods seemed to decline with the coming storm. Every fiber of me wanted to crawl off to bed, nurse the headache that had been building all day and turn the lights off on this long, painful day.
Putting away the remains of dinner, my eyes fell on some strawberries, near the end of their prime. I sighed. Should I throw them away now, assuming that by tomorrow they would be too unattractive for little people to accept? Thunder rumbled, and from the open kitchen window I caught the fresh scent of rain.
In just a few short hours, the day would be spent and I could put this dreary day behind me. But was that my only option? I looked at the strawberries and decided that radical action was necessary. We had a thunderstorm brewing, three kids with moods in need of band-aids and a mother who was twenty minutes away from the end of her rope, with a hundred and twenty minutes left before bedtime.
Why not make pie?
Stressed, spelled backward. And that’s what we did!
Cut butter into gluten-free flour, added ice water. Chopped berries, ruby and glistening, with tart-crisp rhubarb. Little hands kneaded and pinched and shaped, made aboriginal dot-paintings on pie crust canvas before pouring in the filling. We cut a vent in the shape of a cross, to remind us who to turn to when we need to vent some steam.
As the storm rolled in and the rain washed down, our home filled with the scent of baking pie and the sound of laughter. We snuggled on Eldest’s bed, and read as many chapters of Little House as it takes for a pie to bake.
Lord, the next time I feel stressed please help me remember that I have other options. And thank you for sweet desserts and little hands to help!