Walking into Wilson's first day of gymnastics class, I didn't know what to expect. We had done mommy and me music and movement classes through park and rec and a variety of story time activities together, but this would be the first time he was in a class without me by his side. Just Wilson, a handful of other barefoot three year olds, and his first teacher, Miss Megan. I was so nervous watching my baby walk through that gate to his first "big boy class."
But, over the weeks and months of attending gym class, Wilson and Miss Megan grew closer and closer. She incorporated trains into gym activities to interest Wilson, pretending that the balance beam was a train track. She encouraged him when he was fearful and praised him when he tried new things. She was patient with his forward rolls and understanding of his somewhat irrational fear of the "donut." Wilson grew drastically - in coordination, yes, but also in confidence and social ability.
As a mommy, I appreciated Miss Megan for the teacher and role model that she was for my child. But I also got to know her as a friend. I began to look forward to our chats after class and was often the last one to leave the gym.
When Miss Megan married Mr. Derek last fall, Wilson was so excited to be invited to his first wedding. Shortly after, Miss Megan announced she would be leaving her coaching position to spend more time with her new husband. We knew we would miss seeing her on a weekly basis, but because she had also begun doing private sitting for us, I knew we would keep in touch.
Little did we know that we would also gain Mr. Derek, who is the only adult we have met that enjoys playing trains as much as Wilson. He has truly been a wonderful addition to our collection of friends. I mean, who else would save an enormous couch box from their work and bring it over to paint and turn into a train with my boys?
I meticulously read and reread the instructions in preparation for my first official go at it. I froze my mixing bowl, my pastry cloth, and even my flour. I have to say, there is something hugely satisfying about smushing cold butter, Crisco, and flour between your fingers and watching it turn into something that resembles play dough. It brings out your inner child.
I cored and sliced each apple, carefully layering the fruit and dry ingredients and topping the whole shebang with a second crust.At this point, I had to remind myself that homemade pies are supposed to look homemade. I attempted to cutesy it up by cutting out apples with a cookie cutter and the leftover dough. I gave the whole thing an egg wash and sprinkled it with raw sugar.
Then, I waited. Impatiently. Checking the oven every five minutes. Expecting to ruin the whole thing by either burning it or having it turn to mush. But, to my surprise, it baked beautifully! I had actually made a pie! From scratch! Now I just had to wait the two days until Miss Megan and Mr. Derek came over for their going away dinner. Ugh! Waiting...
"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness." - Jane Austen