One thing I realized for certain this week: getting back into the swing of things after vacation is HARD. It didn't feel so hard on Monday, strangely enough--in fact, I was looking forward to getting back to my classes, seeing my students again, and moving forward into the second half of the semester. But by Wednesday morning, I felt dragged down, stressed out, and tired the way you feel when you've pulled a series of all-nighters several days in a row.
When you're juggling a million and one different things, though, you reach a tipping point. My tipping point was yesterday late afternoon, right after dinner--the "witching hour" for over-taxed grown-ups. I was supposed to go to a campus lecture series event I helped plan, but we'd eaten dinner (on the porch) late, and I was pushing it. No sooner had I finally changed clothes, and readied myself to rush out the door, when T. ran across the porch floor in her bare feet and stepped on the head of a nail.
She was okay, really. No gushing blood, just a mean-looking strip of skin pulled back, and a nasty long splinter sticking out of her heel. But the injury tipped her over the edge she dissolved into tears that worsened into wails when she saw me getting ready to leave. Me, Mama, leaving at the moment when she needed her most. How could I go? How could I walk away?
I couldn't. So I stayed. Inside I felt one twinge of stifled frustration for the calamity, for the guilt I felt for staying home, for difficult choices, and for my wailing daughter, who was clinging to me and crying big wet tears onto my newly-changed shirt.
But the twinge was just a twinge--one I know well--but one that vanishes, quickly, like a footprint in the wet sand, or a tear, brushed away against a cheek.
This time last year, I did some traditional baking for "Clean Monday", the first day of Lent on the Greek calendar. I haven't managed much in the way of baking lately, but I am planning on making the Greek Halva recipe I made last year. If you want to give it a try, or make the traditional unleavened bread, Lagana, click here to read my post, including recipes, from last year.