I went for a run the other day. Crazy, I know. I came up behind one of our neighbors who was walking. He's a walker. Always has been. He and his wife live in town. They walk to the top of our hill. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with each other. I always stop to talk. Tom used to swear, a lot. Even if the kids were in the car. He's an impassioned guy. What can you say? And then he had a stroke. And couldn't swear anymore. Actually, he couldn't talk anymore. But he's making his way back. His brain is working hard to reconnect. What he says now is, "I know. I know. I know." He repeats it over and over again. But he still walks.
When I was approaching him I was wondering if I should stop and talk. Grab his hand. Let him know I'm here. That I hear him even if he can only say, "I know." But before I reached him he veered into the Christmas tree farm and walked up the hill into the mist of the evergreen scent. I want to bake him cookies.
I trotted a little further up the road and ran into my good friend Cath and her mother-in-law. They were on a walk. Cath just had a baby and she snuggled that thing close to her chest as they scooted down the slippery dirt road. She's a super woman, Cath is, so we've been exercising since Mazzy's been about 2 weeks old. I mean not just the general run-of-the-mill exercising but Cath's been doing push-ups and pull-ups and Olympic weight lifting shit. It's crazy. I was still on the couch 6 weeks postpartum. Loving every excuse to relax. She's up every two to three hours at night. I know how hard this is. I want to bake her cookies.
I turned around because it was starting to get a little dark and I sorta looked like a tree instead of a bright light. On my way back I almost got run over by a reindeer- not really- just my good friends Suzie and Brooks and their big boy Langdon. They had just picked out their Christmas tree. Brand new tree for a brand new house. Brand new baby to be born soon to fill up brand new house too. All this brandnewedness makes me want to bake them cookies.
On Tuesday I picked up Bee's sister. Her name is Theo. We've been taking care of her here and there to give Bee someone to play with. They're good playmates. We're going to be adopting Theo after the New Year because her owner has to move into her 76 year old mother's apartment. She's trying to put her son through college and she's a single mom, doing it all on her own. She's almost in tears every time I see her. I want to bake her cookies too.
On Wednesday our new neighbor walked up the driveway to the house to tell us the alpacas were out. She introduced herself and her yellow lab Biscuit. While Theo humped him, I apologized for not coming up to say, "Welcome to the neighborhood. I'm the loser who hasn't baked you cookies yet. Oh, but can we sled on your hill? Because we used to do that. And it's super fun."
I want to bake cookies for the neighbor down the hill who had to go back to work this week after being home for a year with her new baby. It's so hard.
I want to bake cookies for the neighbor up the hill who still is in dispute with her ex-husband about who gets what. It's been about 5 years. It's too hard.
I want to bake cookies for the neighbor up the hill who drives to the other side of town three times a week to walk a dog she doesn't own but who is holed up in a barn stall and doesn't see the light of day or get to sniff the wind.
I want to bake cookies for the really good friend who had to go back to get another mammogram, a second opinion, because her primary doctor doesn't trust the first. It's too much worry.
I want to bake cookies for my husband who 1)gets upset that I bake cookies for everyone else but don't leave any for him, 2) has been struggling over the decision to maybe take another job, and 3) has sore body parts.
I want to bake cookies for my daughter who is struggling over whether to choose the play or gymnastics, and why do kids have to choose anyway? Can't they do it all?
I want to bake cookies for the snow man who lost his head, and the bird who hit the window, and my cat who is jailed to the top of the t.v. stand because we now have two dogs that want to eat him. Okay, well, I'm stretching it here but life is hard and I wish it wasn't. I wish I could spend my days making cookies to make it all better. And I wish that that would work.