Today I finished up the whole wheat dough that I began a couple of days ago, and which produced yesterday's masterpieces. Today's look pretty good, as well, but the proof is in the taste, and we haven't sampled them yet. They're cooling.
The whole time I was baking, I found myself thinking of you...almost exclusively of you. I feel that I'm never as close to you as I am when I'm alone in the kitchen baking. That I never know you quite so well. That when I'm baking I most appreciate your curiosity. I most clearly imagine the joy you must get in baking for Victoria, and bringing her morning cappuccino. I think of the satisfaction you must feel in doing the window pane test, and knowing exactly whether your dough is really ready. In recognizing that you need a bit more salt, or less water, or another day of fermentation - and having confidence that these adjustments will do what you expect them to do. While I'm baking, I imagine you baking, and I think I understand you best.
And when I know you best, I love you best. I admire and love you so very deeply. You're a generous, kind, and honest man. You're a man of integrity. A man who treats people well, especially people who aren't necessarily used to being treated well. A man who loves his wife truly and honestly.
Thank you for your gift this Christmas. It's really hard for me to overstate just how much I appreciate the opportunity to spend a few minutes with you most days - even if we don't see each other, talk, or even trade texts. That those few minutes baking bread are my moments with my older son, and I cherish them so very much.
I love you,