My sister emailed today to see if I could pass along some of my favorite Pandora stations. Apparently when “Adele radio” started playing songs from the show Glee, she had had enough. We joked that when Pandora plays a song you hate, a minor identity crisis ensues as we wonder, is this really what the internet thinks of me. For my part, I knew the day they played Norah Jones and Iz on Raffi Children’s radio that I had been permanently pegged. I’m not sure how it happened, but every single one of the 99 radio stations we play on Pandora will always at some point play “Come Away With Me” and “What a Wonderful World.”
Maybe it’s all the easy-listening or just the constraints of a small cabin, but I’ve tried awfully hard this year to maintain an identity outside my home. I’m happiest, however, when I feel like a good mom. I’ve found this is not an easy feeling to come by and it happens at the most unexpected moments—when I’m cutting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into quarters, when I’m having an extended monosyllabic conversation with Clara about the weather, when I’m tracking down the Kelsey-recommended “Bag Balm” for Clara’s diaper rash(“bag” as in udder; it’s a rub for chafed milking cows), when I walk in the door and the light of my life lights up. Usually when we try to go out and eat food prepared by other people, it’s hard to feel like a good mom. We’re either feeding Clara a butter-soaked grilled cheese or ignoring the fact that she’s standing in her high chair. Today, however, we started a new mom-and-daughter ritual. In our one free morning on Tuesdays, we’re going to get bran muffins and glazed donuts at The Moose Is Loose.
Through the –21 degree cold, we drove to the bakery and had our date. We sat and listened to the old men talk about how they have to keep their wives in front of them at the grocery store or the women will just up and run to the pasta and grains aisle without any warning. We talked about the antlers on the wall and checked out the 2007 edition of Milepost. But mostly we stared in awe of the gigantic mixer and dough hook built in 1955.
Clara’s to the point now that whenever I hold the camera in her direction, she flashes a smile. So, there might be a lot of scrunched-face photos, but Clara’s definitely experimenting with her own identity in other ways these days.
There’s the Clara who likes a good pair of boots and telephone.
And the Clara who likes helping in the kitchen.
The Clara who likes to share a big laugh.
There’s the dolled-up girl who likes her boots to match her hat to match her petticoat.
Finally, there’s the Clara who won’t leave the house or go to bed at night without giving the dogs a hug and kiss. She and Delilah have turned into little snuggle buddies.