I’ve been homeschooling since my daughter was in grade 3, but we always knew that the day would come when she’d be ready to go back to a classroom. This past August, we were presented with the opportunity for her to attend a private school in the fall, and she could hardly contain her excitement to attend 8th grade at a school.
She was excited, I was not.
Mornings. Pre-made lunches. Getting into the car while the sun is barely making an appearance. These are things that bleed into other areas of life, creating the need for organization (ew), a schedule (yuck) and the worst… a bedtime for myself.
I assumed my loss of spontaneity was the reason for my feelings, and that I’d adjust as the days went on, but by the end of the second week I was even more miserable. I felt awful, my daughter kept telling me about her days, and she was so enthusiastic, but her stories made me feel worse and worse until the real problem was obvious.
I missed my girl.
We were a team. For years, it was she and I. We had breakfast together, and then we had school. I helped her with the more complicated work, and on a rough day, I was there to give her hugs and tell her I was proud of her. She had music studies and field trips and competitions, but I was with her for every moment of them. Now all of the sudden, she was gone 8 hours of the day and I felt the loss of her.
Acknowledging this helped, a lot. Suddenly the mornings and the lunches and the schedules didn’t seem so jarring. I miss her, but I’m also happy for her, and it makes me appreciate my time with her in the evenings, that much more. Home-schooling was always in her best interest, and she flourished in those years – but it was also time for us to let her spread her wings a little and see where she could go with it.
I suppose it’s also the beginning of a new time for me as well. There are now eight hours a day where no one requires me, for anything. I’ve been able to volunteer more with the ministries at my church, but it’s also giving me time to think about who I’ve become in these past few years. I was so busy focusing on her, I’m kind of viewing my own ambitions, wants and goals with a sense of shyness.
For now I’m also filling my days with things that help make our new routine a little easier. Since my daughter has a hard time with gluten and dairy, I’ve been breaking the bank by buying lunch items from the health food aisle. I’ve started working on this by converting some “lunch box” recipes and that’s how I ended up with this cookie recipe. I never would have guessed they would turn out so well, and you really don’t know they’re gluten free!
So, I shared my feelings, now I share the recipe 🙂
Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
>> Dairy and Gluten Free <<
- 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
- 1.5 cups Gluten Free Oats
- 2.5 tablespoons Potato Starch
- 1.5 tablespoons Tapioca Starch
- 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance (or Becel Vegan Margarine)
- 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup White Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3/4 cups Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a cookie tray with parchment and set aside.
Blend the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), add the rest of the ingredients and blend on medium speed for about a minute. Slowly add the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough onto your tray, giving about 2″ per cookie. Do not press down on the dough.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes until slightly browned. Let them rest on the tray for about 5 minutes before removing the cookies to a cooling rack.
Pairs oh so nicely with some almond milk :).