When I was young, I ate white bread. I was a wonder bread kid. I used to nibble the crust off and then ball up the innards into a golf ball sized mass, finishing it off with big bites that left distinct teeth impressions in the dough. I loved the smooth consistency, the light flavor.
I continued to eat white bread into adulthood. On those rare occasions when my only option was wheat, I would choke it down without any enjoyment. I resisted it, as I do most change, with the zeal reserved for oldest siblings. Wheat bread has a coarser texture, the crust almost bitter, there are often crunchy bits and I just didn't like it.
At some point after we got married, Neil talked me into trying wheat bread. Despite my initial reservations, I discovered that I liked it and we have been eating it ever since. Now, I find that my taste for white bread has dwindled. This morning I made lunch for my husband, putting together a ham and cheese sandwich for him to take to work. I opened up a new loaf of whole wheat bread and pulled out two slices, putting the end aside while I grabbed the ham, mustard and cheese out of the refrigerator. As I assembled the sandwich, I took bites of the crunchy, tasty end and a realization overcame me.
I don't think it will surprise any parent, but every day with my child is not the ideal. There are days where I feel completely lost. Where the inadequacies of my knowledge and experience seem greater than can be overcome. There are days where I worry that the things I do or do not do will permanently and negatively affect her little mind and body. Days where tears outweigh smiles.
But there are also days of near perfection. Days where it seems my daughter and I are experiencing the world on exactly the same wavelength. Days where laughter overtakes us and delivers joy in armloads. These days seem to carry with them a special light and the hours race past.
There are many days in between, during which we experience slivers of these two extremes.
Regardless of which of these days we are having, there is a texture to my life that was not there before. These new flavors are nuanced and diverse and have ruined me for anything else. And although I occasionally daydream about my old life, there is nothing in the world that could willingly take me back to those bland white bread days.