Another tenuous book post. But I had to record today.
All down the years my husband and I tried to conceive, I had a couple of small but hardly-dared imagined dreams of parenthood. Oddly enough, despite having a preference for a boy, I always saw a girl in my mind’s eye. The only snatches of a dream I ever permitted myself was walking down the street with a small girl holding my hand. I cannot walk with my daughter’s handinmine and not still remember those images. My body still feels the electrical-charge of it, the cosy warmth of something long yearned-for that has come true. My other dream was baking together.
I baked at my grandmother’s table, as I have written before, and she poured over her big blue-grey cooking compendium with pictures of wildly technicolour creations: alien things that gran never ever baked. These things were as fantastical and faraway as a moon made of cheese. Yesterday, the Peyton & Byrne gift was reminiscent of those weighty, instructional housewives’ tomes and is designed in that hand-me-down classical way that I am certain Oliver Peyton intended.
The banana nut bread was a huge hit with my daughter at 5am (she went down for her afternoon nap, still in her day dress and didnt wake until 3am this morning. Probably because her sleeping routine after weeks of teething related sickness is shot to pieces.) By 5, she was desperate to get up and – I guess – to eat too. So a slab of the bread worked it’s magic and she was calling for more as soon as she crammed the last piece into her little mouth. “More banana cake mummy, please!”
So this morning, as we’re off out on an afternoon playdate, I cracked open the book, placed the mixing bowl on a little stool (my kitchen is dreadful and pokey) and together we made Ginger and Dark Treacle Bread, explaining to her that the book was telling me what I needed to do next. Another loaf, that we happened to have the incredients to. I explained to her what we were doing and she was enthralled: “where’ve the eggs gone mummy?” after we whisked them in and “where’s the cake?” when the ingredients were still a batter.
It’s important to remember and celebrate the dreams that come true. So much in life feels overwhelming, that your life, your accomplishments can seem so small and you in turn so powerless. I feel so humbled, grateful and most of all, I feel possible.