We had planned a "Cookies and Cocktails" party for a few of our new friends for Sunday, December 16. I'm so glad we did. It was nice to, for a few hours, come together as friends in celebration instead of sorrow. It was nice to be able to watch our kids playing together and feel that warmth of gratitude spread among us without saying a word of the heartbreak we were actually feeling. We didn't want to talk about it....there were little kids with big, wide open ears beside our elbows. And also, we didn't need to talk about it. Behind every smile was The Look. A where do we go from here? look.
It was just what I...we....needed.
It was a simple affair. There were cookies, of course.
And drinks. A few new Pinterest recipes I had been wanting to try....
(nut and cheese-free in our house)
(I skipped the parmesan. Still great!)
And for the kids, a Make-Your-Own Reindeer Food station. (Thanks to Kelle Hampton for the inspiration.)
And it was good. Great, actually, if I let myself not feel guilty about celebrating amidst other families' sorrow. It provided some balance during what otherwise would have been a very hard weekend.
Monday came and the pit in my stomach returned with a vengeance. Anxiety? Yes. Though I always tended to be a worry-wort-ish person, Motherhood gave me a good, healthy dose of Anxiety. My mind goes to pretty scary places pretty easily. I hear that's not uncommon among the Mommy Set. (Right? Anyone?)
But Monday? I could do this, right? Put Evan on a bus? Send him off to school? Yes. I could. I must. But....what to do until I see him hop down off that bus at 2:51?
Operation: Keep Busy and Distracted
Max and I prepared for his Special Reading Time at school. On Tuesday, I was going in to read Frosty the Snowman to his class. (He chose the book. I was *thrilled* that it meant that I would get to read/sing instead of just read. Oy.)
I had been holding on to a Make-Your-Own PlayDough recipe my sister had passed along. I decided that Monday was the perfect day to give it a try. Instead of food coloring, we added Peppermint Extract into the dough. When it cooled, we kneaded white glitter into it and, voila! PlayDough "snowballs" for each of Max's friends.
Those were super-tight shots to shield you from the rest of my kitchen counter.
Oh, okay, here's the rest.
...although you can't see the sink full of dishes from this angle. Or the fact that Max has systematically, though neatly, emptied the drawer he is rifling through in an effort to find the "right" snack plate.
Because I (we) have followed too many of these heart-wrenching tragedies, I have learned that I am an information junkie. I need to read/watch/talk/think it through endlessly to make what little sense there is to make in an effort, I think, to convince myself that it really won't happen to me and mine.
Although the more I read and watch, the more Experts tell me that it's happening more frequently and more horrifically in places Exactly Like the bucolic little town we are so happy to call Home. Stomach Pit threatening to overwhelm.
So, because a control freak like me can't control for everything, I'll do what I can. And for now, for always, it's to love these little babes to pieces.
1 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
Mix into microwavable bowl. Cook on high for 2 1/2 minutes, stop and stir every 30 seconds. Knead on wax paper with flour.