Usually at this time of the year I have the typical resolutions of losing weight, seeing friends more often and watching my health. This year, I decided to go with something less specific - I will be good to myself.
It has been freezing in the Northeast for over a week. Temperatures have plummeted and wind chills like this have never been seen in this part of the United States. Even weather forecasters seem to be amazed at what we are experiencing.
And so, with the cold days (and remembering how I slipped on the ice two years ago and broke a wrist), I will be staying home on icy and snowy days. I will do more over-the-phone consultations and short-term counseling. This does not mean I won’t do homestudy and post placement visits. I just will be careful scheduling them. I absolutely love meeting the families in person and later, their children.
I am taking advantage of being home more. I have been cooking, baking and snuggling on the couch with the dog (even more important these days as he has extra body heat). I normally bake cookies at this time of year. But with all this extra time, I have added and perfected making bread and fudge.
Baking and snuggling have me reminiscing about days gone by. Thirty years ago, I was getting used to being a mom, making formula, changing diapers and catching up on sleep when I could. Twenty-five years ago, I was juggling 2 daughters under the age of 5. I had begun to work part-time and, while forever tired, was in heaven.
I always tried to put a home cooked meal on the table, but admit that after a while, Chinese food and pizza deliveries slipped into our routine. I needed to do something better.... I began to experiment with 15-30 minute meals. I would prepare ingredients over the weekends and sneaked lots of vegetable purees into foods such as smoothies, meatloaf, chili and more. I even learned to make a few Chinese dishes and pizza (crust included), so that I knew what ingredients we were eating. Over the years, I got better and better at it. I shared recipes with other new moms and those with little extra time who were learning to cook.
My daughters didn't get the cooking bug until they were older. I didn't get the baking bug until they were teens. I began to bake bread, bagels, bialys and cookies. These days, with my daughters living on their own, I baked and shipped them a selection of cookies, brownies, fudge, rugelach and crispy treats.
My resolution was to be good to myself. I enjoy working in the kitchen (as well as with clients). All this baking is my winter routine. I will stop baking and creating sweet treats but I will continue baking breads and I will snuggle with the dog as often as possible. He is a warm and calming influence in my daily life.
I always think about the days long ago, the adoption of my daughters (1987 and 1991), watching them grow and seeing them become independent young women. One of the many things I take pride in is their ability to cook a delicious meal. While I shall never know if it's nature or nurture, I do know it's like mother - like daughter.
And now, I’m off to send some fudge to that friend "in need" of a sweet....
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly at EMAIL