Monkey Bread

I showed Vivie the moon tonight as we headed into her room, into the rocking chair I've been ending my daughter's days in for the last seven years.

"Moon on, Mom! Tiny bit, moon." She paused.

And then again, in a whisper. "Moon on."

Yes, I nodded. "Pretty, isn't it?"

Yes, she nodded.

She asked me to sing Jingle Bells. I sang the chorus.

"Bed," she said. My first child didn't sleep through the night until she was eighteen months old, thirty-six hours after we'd plunked down $500 at the sleep clinic. The second child, fifteen months. My third one tells me to put her to bed.

I tucked in her tightly, that room is so drafty.

We exchange love yous, 
sweet dreams, 
God bless.

Door shut behind me, I padded down the stairs, into the kitchen, where I microwaved a stick of cold butter from the fridge.

A loaf of frozen dough, unthawed, just starting to rise.
A bowl of brown sugar.
A bowl of cinnamon sugar.
A dash of vanilla to the warm, soupy butter.

And then I broke apart the sticky, puffy dough, deflating it a bit. Gumballs of dough, dunked in butter, then brown sugar, a coating of cinnamon sugar.

It's good, this.  

I looked out the kitchen window into the darkness on the other side, white snow glowing.

The quiet house.
This winding down.


I arranged the little chunks in a circle in the bundt pan, twice. A little itch on my cheek, and I nudged it with buttery fingers to stop.

I should be rubbing butter all over my face, maybe I wouldn't look so haggard...

This concoction will be good in the morning, waiting for us, a little present to start the day. The house will smell cozy. My daughters will taste the love. They will remember it when they're in college and eating cereal for most meals. When they're thirtysomething and have little ones of their own. They'll be able to make it without calling me. I think she just...

I hope.

Vivie is singing in her crib. The dough is rising again, up through the sugar and butter.

Moon on.