Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pain vs. Pain au Chocolat

So, dear friends, if you have noticed anything in what I write, you might have hit upon the fact that I am positively enamored with that most scrumptious of pastries, the heavenly pain au chocolat. Commonly known by many as a "chocolate croissant", I beg to differ with Shakespeare that a rose by any other name is just as sweet, or that my dear pastry with it's less elegant English language name is just as...healing.

Take today for example. Up in the middle of the night for an hour with the wee Joaquini, otherwise known as The Nightfly, I also had to rise early to take him to a doctor's appointment. Actually, I had to rise early so I could take a shower while Joe was home so we could make it to the doctor's on time. Somehow a five-minute shower takes 20 minutes when I'm home by myself between rounding up our little ponyboy, penning him into his room with the babygate, and then the reassurances that follow once I'm out of the shower. Once I had rushed through the whole hygiene routine, I headed back upstairs to say goodbye to Joe and doze for a little while longer. Of course, The Nightfly had chosen to keep on snoring the whole time dear Mama was up.

I lay there and thought of the pain of my jealousy. The pain of getting up. The pain of... wait, just a minute. I remembered the Law of Similars that naturopaths so often use. Like heals like. The Pain...the Pain au Chocolat that I could make for dessert. That would heal me! My day would be made better with the promise of deliciousness. Mmmmm!

Suddenly, things didn't seem so bad. Then the doc's office called to cancel; the doctor was sick. Geez, not having to haul the kid on the bus on a rainy day? Darn! An impromptu playdate gelled easily. Yes, things were shaping up indeed.

I looked at wistfully into the closet at a shirt I usually thought was "too nice" to wear at home. What was I doing today, changing the oil in the car? Nope. I was making pain au chocolat and I was in the mood to celebrate. Pretty shirt on, pretty earrings on, even a dab of perfume. O la la! I'd felt so schlumpy yesterday, and it was a nice change to look in the mirror this morning. I even put my hair up a bit.

The rest of the day was pretty much sunshine and lollipops, really. Joaquin had a wonderful nap, I had gobs of time to read and gab on the phone with my sister Amanda. Joaquin woke happy. I even had a chance to get the dishes done before heading out on a walk with a dear friend. And although it poured buckets this afternoon, just minutes before it was time for us to go, the clouds parted and presented us with a bunch of sunshine. What a day after all.

When the timer went ding!, and I opened the oven, something more than the scent of bliss overtook me. It was a certain satisfaction, I suppose. It's an effort to be home all day with a toddler, especially on a rainy day, but having something to look forward to helped immensely. Having good friends to talk to today also made things so much better. There are a lot of things as rich as the dark chocolate inside that flaky golden brown pillow of croissant. My son is sweet as pie, and so is kind Joe, who was willing to stay home an extra few minutes to make my life easier. Friendships are really the dessert of our lives, aren't they?

So, back to my theory about names of things--I'm sure a plain ol' chocolate croissant would have been fine, but there's something to be said for doing things a little fancy-like, you know? It could have been an ordinary day, but treating it like something special took the sting off the pain of a plain old same old day and was a balm to my tired soul. Law of similars indeed.

Pain au chocolat=sometimes, life can be delicious.

**Lest it be said that I'm some sort of bourgeois housewife who has time to roll out the many layered buttery dough that croissants require, I must confess that by "making" these croissants, I pulled a box out of the freezer and let the frozen dough proof all day before popping them into the oven. But they were still yummy. One must decide what's important in one's life, and not having to scrape dough out of a bowl feels very important to me these days.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Friendship and chocolate, and taking sweet time to enjoy our good moments. These are the great moments in life, really. Can I come for Chocolate tonight?