A Little Something Sweet

When kids are sick, some scratch cinnamon rolls can make it all better.

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I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, sickness meant time off from school with the minor inconvenience of not feeling great.  Mostly I remember getting to sleep in and watch my favorite tv shows, the citrusy taste of Triaminic, and wondering what my friends were doing without me on the playground.  There was no anxiety, no fear of complications, no wondering if I would get worse before I got better.

Now, as a parent, that first complaint of a sore throat or a stomach ache sends me into high alert mode.  I begin watching for temperatures, making sure they get fluids, and asking if anything hurts while I gauge whether or not we need to head into the doctor yet.  The whiteboard calendar gets wiped clean of all but the most pressing engagements (like work) because if one child is sick, the other two will surely follow.  As will my husband.  

When my oldest was two, she came down with RSV.  Still relatively new parents and with a relatively healthy infant and toddler, we hadn’t yet experienced the icewater-in-the-veins fear that accompanies a scary diagnosis for one of your babies.  We thought with some rest, she’d be fine.  She wasn’t fine and wound up in the hospital.  She was treated and she recovered, but the speed at which she declined during that episode pulled the rug out from under any illusions of security I had when it comes to childhood illness.  

And since so many bugs picked up from school simply have to ‘run their course,’ I’m left lying awake at night listening to my kids’ hacking coughs echoing down the hallway with nothing to offer them but saline spray and a humidifier.  The weight of uncertainty (I’m just going to check them one more time) combined with the frustration of helplessness (I wish it were me and not them) takes a toll.  When I think about parents who have children with chronic disease or terminal illness, my heart breaks into pieces for them.  They must be some of the strongest people on God’s green Earth.  

So today, when my 8-year old finally perked up after being down for days with the flu, he put his child hands together, tilted his head, and asked: “Mommy?  Can you bake me up a little something sweet?  Like cinnamon rolls?”  

I don’t care if it’s considered anti-feminist or old-fashioned.  I don’t care if it’s something a housewife from the 1950s would take joy in doing, but I all but skipped into that kitchen to bake my son some from-scratch cinnamon comfort rolls.  As I was kneading the buttery dough, I thought about how grateful I was to be able to be home today, and every time I scoff at my part-time paycheck or feel like an underachiever when I see powerhouse women with full-time careers bringing home the major bacon, I want to remember this day.  I want to remember how incredibly useful I felt.  There is more than one way to be a provider.  And today I provided just the right medicine at just the right time.  For both of us.    

For these delicious rolls, I followed Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe:


Since you only have to let the dough rise once, they are ready to bake in under two hours, and they come out perfectly every time. 

I really don't think I need buns of steel.  I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon."

- Ellen DeGeneres

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