Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The lesson of the banana bread

I've been feeling sorry for myself the last little bit. It has felt like our little family has just been having a hard time. GeekBoy (my affectionate blog nickname for my husband) works in the mortgage industry, and his company has gone through round after round of layoffs in the last year or two. A few weeks ago they went through another round, and he kept his job. His department is now down to two people, including him. Last week, they announced a "temporary" 20% pay decrease across the board for all employees. It's supposed to just be for December, but we'll see. We found out about this the day before Thanksgiving.

There was the whole poison control incident, and then yesterday Cooper woke up covered in vomit, and when I put him in the tub to get the barf out of his hair he pooed in the tub, and when I got him out of the tub to put him in clean jammies he peed all over the carpet. And then I went to teach and the copier jammed so I was late to class, and it just felt like one little thing after another. And then I got home and my mom called and said Grandma had fallen and broken her leg in multiple places. The bones were coming up through the skin. She was heading into surgery, but with her poor health, they were calling to prepare us just in case she didn't make it through surgery or the post-op recovery.

Combined with all these minor inconveniences and major traumas was the seeming disparity of good things happening for all those around us. New loves, new babies, heck, even a new dress. It seemed that the old phrase about poop rolling downhill was true, and I was at the bottom of the hill, covered (sometimes literally) in poop.

Then this morning I made banana bread. One of the concepts I'm writing about right now in my dissertation is radical inequality, and as I was turning those old bananas into bread, I realized that I am making bread because I have too much food. The bananas weren't inedible in the form they were in. They were just past the point that I prefer to eat them. To many people they would have been perfect. To a great many people in the world, they would have been lifesaving nutrition. And I was turning them into banana bread because I have the option about being picky about what I eat, and of buying enough food at the grocery store that the bananas can sit out long enough to go past optimal ripeness.

I then had to decide what kind of chocolate chips to put in the bread. I had thought about adding pecans, because I had extra pecans from Thanksgiving, but I wanted Cooper to be able to eat the bread, so I went for chocolate instead. I have multiple types of chocolate chips in the house because 1)I love to bake, and 2) that's what the women in my family do. I know some people put wheat in their food storage, but I have a feeling that if it ever comes to the point where people are living off of their food storage, I can trade six ounces of good chocolate for a few pounds of wheat to any woman in a 25 mile radius.

So, my warm house with plenty of food and a darling child smells of cinnamon and nutmeg as chocolate chip banana bread bakes in the oven. Cooper is starting to spend as much time toddling around the house as crawling. My husband is at his job. I'm going to go write some more on my dissertation with a new perspective on radical inequality. And then, I'm going to go eat some banana bread, and kiss my baby, and thank my Heavenly Father for all the blessing He pours out upon me daily, that I do not take the time to see.

Sometimes, the most important lessons in life are taught by a mushy banana.


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