I baked a cake today.
I cannot even remember the last time I baked a cake.
With two daughters at home, the cake baking seemed to do itself.
Mostly it was brownies, though.
I like cake better.
So, today, I baked one.
Why is this momentous? Because it marks a returning of me to me, that's why.
My husband and I have had 10 months of childless marriage in 37 years. You no doubt deduced that our firstborn came along right at the start. So, look at it this way, my husband and I have had one month of childless marriage in 37 years. The rest of the time I was either expecting a precious bundle - and all four were so very very precious to us, still are - or I was an active parent.
No complaints from me. None. At all. My kids make me so happy. Most of the time. Hey, I'm just being honest here.
As usual, I digress.
I baked a cake. But the important thing is that I felt like baking a cake. Normally such an endeavor would be required; birthday, anniversary, special occasion of some sort. But today, the kitchen called to me just as it did when I was a single girl living on my own.
I have to tell you, this feels really great, if unexpected.
My youngest child is getting married this fall. She's the last birdie in the nest. Her sister was married only one month ago. It's all rather sudden, this second wedding, even though I could see it coming. Daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law are very much in love and perfectly suited. They need to be together, walking through life as husband and wife.
Everything is as it should be. And, happily, I'm fine with it. I've been told that the empty nest is a killer. I do not think it will be for me. My little growing family gets along really well, and we keep in close touch. So, there shouldn't be any drastic missings on my part. Plus, my husband and I are 60 now. Our kids came spaced apart by 14 years between the oldest and the youngest. We are ready to lighten our load. It feels awesome!
My kitchen feels like it's mine again. Mine as in Cherie's, as opposed to Mom's or Wife's or Daughter's.
I like this!
Creativity stirs in me. I feel like I'm gingerly stepping out from the shadows, squinting at the sun, testing the stability of the earth beneath my cautious feet. I've done a good job as parent and daughter, and will continue to do a good job as a wife. I'm looking forward to being able to focus all my daily energy on my husband and myself. He's been awfully patient sharing the spotlight with the kids all these years. Oh, who am I kidding. Tom was even further back in the shadows than was I, faithfully supporting us, going without, hanging in there right along with me. Yes, we are both coming out from the shadows.
Tom and I have decided upon a new motto for our life in the sunshine: Put our health first. Yes, I know, it's not really new, but it is to us. We've been very sacrificial parents, and it's paid off. The kids are awesome. Our life is lined up for a happy future, Lord willing and the creek don't rise. But now, we know if we don't take care of our health, what good is free time?
I shall use this blog as my place to chronicle the returning of me to me. While the future is not at all certain, I am eager to take the first few steps.
Like baking a cake.