16 Dec When Cookies Make Me Sad.
Me and Bella baked cookies today. Just me and her because the rest of the Fab5 have all got actual REAL jobs. Big Son is a bartender/waiter/pool-cleaner at a fabulous hotel in town. Big Daughter is icing cakes, baking cookies, mopping floors and serving customers at the best cake store in Samoa. Middle Daughter is making creative lovely things at her grandmother’s design store Plantation House. Little Son is working for his Dad’s construction company – he sweeps, runs errands, drills holes, paints and remembers to pick up everything that his Dad forgets. I never imagined there would come a day when (almost) all my children were grown up enough to work somewhere (and be good at it!) Im grateful for awesome extended family who have awesome businesses – that have been willing to employ my children through the holidays. Jobs are hard to come by and all four of them are learning valuable life lessons that will serve them well long after these jobs are done.
But I digress. As usual! Back to my story…
Me and Bella were baking snickerdoodles and sprinkle cookies. We had her favorite One Direction songs on full blast and she was cracking eggs in between dance moves, and then exulting once the egg made it safely into the bowl and not onto the floor.
I looked at her and I was reminded of another day a very long time ago. Another kitchen, another small child. Big Son. A day when I taught him how to crack eggs into a bowl. How to measure butter and sugar. How to cream it. How to stir it all up and STOP EATING THE MIXTURE DAMMIT. Me and Big Son made lots of chocolate chip cookies together. Back when he was little and baking with me was a highlight of his day, his week. We havent baked together in many years and for a fleeting moment, I was sad.
I looked at Bella as she rolled cookie dough between her hands and then dropped clumsy lopsided balls into the cinnamon-sugar mix. I was reminded of other days long time ago. Other children eager to bake with me. Big Daughter, Middle Daughter and Little Son. Eager to listen and learn. Slyly sneaking fingerfuls of cookie dough when they thought I wasnt looking.
Bella burnt her finger on the oven door today and in her quick tears, I was reminded of the times when her big brothers burnt their fingers. When her big sisters dropped eggs on the floor, spilled flour everywhere, burnt cakes because they were busy reading a book and then I yelled at them. Of course. They’re all Big Kids now. They know how to bake and they do it well. They had a good teacher! They willingly bake trays of brownies and choc chip slice for us whenever we need refreshments. They are capable, efficient and always clean up afterwards. They dont need my guidance or #BossMum-ness anymore. Im glad about that. But standing there with Bella, I looked back and for a fleeting moment, I was sad for what I would never get back.
The cookies were done and I brought them out of the oven. Me and Bella shared a cookie. Taste testers. “Delicious!” Bella said. I looked at her smile. Her mouth full of snickerdoodles. Her nose dusted with flour. The glob of butter stuck in her hair. She was happy. And I was happy.
In that moment I told my brain, my heart, my soul – to PAUSE. STOP!
Remember this. Take an endless photograph of THIS right here, right now. You and your very last baby. Baking cookies together. See how she looks up at you? See the crumbs on her apron thats too big for her so you had to fold it over and tie it twice? See that gap where her front tooth hasnt grown in yet? See how she’s delighting in every bite of that cookie that you both made together? Remember it all.
Feel. Feel this peace? Contentment? Sprinkle cookie happiness? How you love her? How fun it is to enjoy simply being with her? To stand beside her and help her roll cookie dough? Teaching, laughing and just BEING with her?
Remember it all.
Because one day. Not now. Not right away. But certainly, surely, undeniably. One day, all this will be a memory. And you will never ever have THIS back.
Perhaps one day (God willing) you will stand in a kitchen somewhere, with some other child. A grandchild perhaps? Teaching them how to bake cookies. And in the midst of that fun moment, you will remember today. You will remember baking cookies with Bella when she was eight years old.
You will remember. And for a fleeting moment, you will be sad.