The quick solution to after school hunger was a stew from last night’s roast and potatoes and carrots—cut the meat and potatoes, add a handful of peas and a cup of chicken broth… it was a good start, one small bowl each for three people.
Madeleine whined. She loved the roast last night, raved about the sauce made with red wine and red lentils. She walked to the frig and noted the pie dough, whose recipe said the dough could chill up to two days in advance. (It’s been eight days, but who’s counting?) She put her foot down and demanded to make pumpkin pie, from the ingredients we purchased for Thanksgiving, the ingredients we never used.
Let’s see, my child is insisting that she make me a pie, with a vegetable in it! Um, okay, I guess, if you want to bake me a pie, I guess I can just roll the dough out for you. I guess. Aprons come out, hands are washed. She squints at the recipe on the back of the pumpkin can.
I can’t write with them at home, so I save chores for these hours, the laundry folding, the last of the dishes to wash, the dusting. Brendan offers to help with the pie, and I demonstrate how to use a can-opener. They mix. I roll. We nibble scraps of crust and I agree they can lick the pumpkin bowl if they help me clean up.
Then Madeleine asks if she can reorganize my cabinets. Um, yeah. Brendan wants his own project and asks if he can re-label all of my jars of herbs, if he cleans them and removes the old illegible grubby labels. Is this the same guy who was dragging all through school prep this morning? The same guy who’s been so terribly stubborn? He pulls out the permanent pen, the computer labels, and goes to work. Some bottles are so old we need to guess what they were. The change is astonishing.
Madeleine finishes with the cabinet and asks if she can organize the freezer. Hmmm. Okay. She dons mittens and pulls a chair up to the freezer door.
I should go into their room right now and reorganize the desk, which is piled high with stuff, or their unmade beds, or the piles in the closet. Nah. They are capable. Besides they are tidying public spaces, and the house smells of pumpkin pie, my miraculous luck. They kick and scream over putting away their socks. I don’t understand, but I love pumpkin pie.
Time to fold more clothes. They are singing Halloween songs. Sounds good to me.
Writing goes well enough, with an academic paper in the draft stage and a creative essay in the draft stage. I attempted to teach a dozen third graders how to spin yarn today, and it wasn’t half-bad! Several kids got it right away, and some got it after some work, but they were all enthusiastic to try. Christmas prep is going okay.
Did I mention my kids are making me a pumpkin pie? All I had to do was roll out the crust. It’s coming out of the oven, now, and smelling like dinner.