When I found out I was pregnant the first time, I thought I'd be a capable-but-remote mother. I have never particularly liked children, and had never intended to have any of my own; but I was prepared to take the responsibility seriously and try to do well at my job.
I couldn't have imagined, then, the rabbit-hole that is falling messily and helplessly in love with your babies.
As it turns out, far from being remote (or, some days, even very capable), I am a mother who actually can't stand being away from her kids.
I can't describe the mixture of anxiety and guilt and mild heartbreak that I feel when I have to do something without them for more than an hour. Of course, I can function without having them with me constantly, but I don't like it one bit.
But yesterday morning, by the time my children and I had hobbled through several hours of games and puzzles and baking and bathing and breakfast, and it was not even 8:00, I was looking for something much stronger than milk to add to my insultingly decaffeinated coffee.
And I also felt an unfamiliar sensation.
I couldn't put my finger on it until my husband, bless him, offered to take the kids out, and I realized that what I was feeling was the need to not see them for a little while.
That feeling didn't last long, but while it lasted I took advantage: I pulled a chair out onto the back deck, put my feet up on the railing, and gobbled up this last breakfast bar in blissful silence.
These are a great breakfast, eaten slightly warm with a bit of yogurt drizzled on top. They are also an excellent take-along snack, treaty but healthy and yummier than store-bought granola bars.
1c brown sugar
1/2c oil (I use melted coconut oil, but any vegetable oil would do)
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2c oats
1c whole wheat flour
1/4c wheat germ
1/4c unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom
1c chopped dried apricots
1/4c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" square pan with parchment.
In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir in oats.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, coconut, baking powder, and cardamom. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir to combine. Stir in apricots, craisins, and chocolate chips.
Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over mixture and, using the plastic wrap as an aid, press batter very firmly and evenly into the pan.
Remove plastic wrap, and bake 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool in pan, on a rack, for as long as you can stand it before cutting into squares.