A couple weeks ago my mom came into town. She was going to watch Hal while I got so caught up on work I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Instead I spent most of the week hanging out with her and making Nutella Lattes. I also spent a good amount of time just watching her with Hal. Not the controlling over-the-shoulder kind of watching. More so the how-did-you-do-that kind of watching.
I thought motherhood would be this completely natural, unteachable thing. So much so that even before Hallie arrived, Kev had to convince me to go to a childbirth class, if not for my sake then his. I told him women have been doing this for thousands of years. There’s no need to take a class. Eventually I signed up for the class. He was right, but don’t tell him I said that. I also went to a nursing class the night I went into labor (unknowingly) after a friend highly encouraged me to do so. As with everything, I planned on winging that too.
People told me raising a child was hard. I didn’t believe them. They told me there’d be times you’d have to set the baby down and walk out of the room to gather your composure. I didn’t believe them. Why at 28 years old do I still have to learn everything the hard way? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the same reason I absolutely cannot follow a recipe verbatim.
My way of making meaning out of situations is a bit ostrich-like—Miss Independent with her head stuck in the ground. After a couple months of living this way (as a mom), I was blurry-eyed and beside myself. As soon as my mom walked in the door, my demeanor quickly changed into that of a sponge. I watched her rock Hal to sleep in just a couple minutes compared to my many (many, many, many) minutes. Thus began the how-did-you-do-that kind of watching.
I wasn’t all wrong—there are pieces to becoming a mother that are entirely natural. I love her more than anything imaginable. No one had to teach me that. But for me, so much more was/is learned. If you’re anything like me, hear me. We need each other and each other’s experiences. No matter how different we are, we’re better together than alone.
Mom—I made this cake to commemorate all the shared Nutella Lattes and advice. Thank you. More than you’ll ever know.
Add this buttercream to your favorite chocolate cake or cupcakes; the darker the better in my opinion. I like this buttercream on the salty side, but I’ll leave the level of saltiness up to you. Taste as you make never hurt anyone.