When I was due to have my second baby, I planned to take a leave of absence from work for six months. Six months is a lot of time to take off, and it is easy (at least for me) to fantasize about all of the catching up I will do with that much time. Get photos organized. Clean out the closets. Paint the bedrooms. Refinish the furniture. File all the extra papers on my desk. You get the idea.
But, this was my second time around the baby-block and I knew how foolish those productivity dreams were. Those months were going to fly by, full of feedings and diapers and an occasional shower. I was prepared for the speed of it this time, but I still yearned for something I could do to meet that urge to be productive. Something small and doable.
I settled on learning how to make a pie crust.
I am a good cook and have spent years of my life in professional kitchens, cooking up all sorts of dishes for all sorts of meals in all sorts of restaurants. Yet somehow the simple pie crust had eluded me. I could never roll one out: it would break, or stick or refuse to spread. Practicing and mastering making a pie crust seemed manageable in my six-month break, and all of the filing and photos could wait until another time. It met my need for productivity and growth without putting too much pressure on. Plus, I love pie!
Mama-amnesia has set in now, and I don’t remember exactly how I found the time to make those crusts, but I did it. Fifteen years have gone by, and we have eaten a LOT of pie in my house. It is our favorite dessert. It is also my favorite thing to make for a thank-you when someone has earned my gratitude.
Every time I make a pie I remember this gift from my second baby, and how I might never have been able to make one at all if he hadn’t come along. It is a great family story that has brought us all a lot more yummy joy than getting organized ever would have done.