God help me, I wish I’d never started that pie.
If I hadn’t been convinced my worth could be found and sifted together with flour and sugar, I might have avoided breaking my pie plate and my son’s heart.
One day back in those early years, I decided a pie was the ultimate way to prove my legitimacy as a wife and mama. My 4-year-old son wanted to help me with it. He loved helping me with everything. His little hands planted themselves on the pages of my open cookbook, his sweet head with its cloud of curls moving back and forth, looking at the recipe and glossy picture. Silently, he moved around the small kitchen table we’d inherited from Grammee and Grampee, picking things up and laying them back in place reverently—the rolling pin, the pastry blender, a spatula.
In theory, I loved his desire to help. On the other hand, if it meant an extra-messy kitchen, “help” gave me hives.
That pie was beautiful in its pan. Cinnamony apples peeked through strips of pie dough woven together in a crisscross pattern and bound with crimped edges. My son was beautiful too. I still see his big eyes in that sweet face with the kitchen window framing the pretty fall day behind him when he asked, “Can I put it in the oven, Mama?”
I tried to make him understand: The pie was heavy. The oven was hot.
He lifted the glass pan. His sweet little hands gripped the sides cautiously. Suddenly, it was on the floor—shards of glass, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples, brown sugar, and ruined pastry lattice mired together in one heaping wreck.
The big, brown eyes of my son looked up at me—looking for love and understanding, wanting to feel safe. All I could see was my carefully crafted ego lying there, shattered on the floor.
I lost it.
I did not kneel down and comfort my son. I yelled and broke his heart into pieces too. [READ THIS STORY IN ITS ENTIRETY ON THE KINDRED MOM BLOG.]