Monday, November 29, 2010


Before I had children, I had a picture in my mind of what kind of mother I wanted to be. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to teach my children, and how I wanted the atmosphere of our home to feel. I knew that I wanted to raise them to be good Catholics, to be kind, to know that they were loved, and to feel that their home was a refuge. There were all kinds of little vignettes in my head about different situations, both extraordinary and mundane, that I would experience with them or provide for them. One of these was a little snippet in my imagination of my kids coming home from school to milk and hot chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven, just waiting on the table. Something about a mom who takes the time to make a treat, warm, fragrant, gooey & sweet, called to me.

When Adam was a toddler, we baked together. As each child followed, they learned to pull up a chair to the counter, to cream butter and sugar, to dump in the chips. My kids love to bake, especially cookies. Most especially, they love to bake chocolate chip cookies. It's a tradition that grew on its own, considering that my kids have never gotten off the school bus, plopped down a book bag, and sighed about their long day of school.

The last few weeks have seen all of us come down with a bad case of negativity. We've all been short with each other, not used the kind words that we know are there. Tonight, I had a paper to write for my psychology class. Instead of writing a paper, I decided to contribute to the mental health of everyone and whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

It was a good decision. Something about stirring the sugars and vanilla, measuring the flour, breaking the eggs, something there is therapeutic. CCCs are good for the soul. (At least mine are, because frankly, mine are the best I've ever tasted.) (No, you can't have the recipe. Half the fun is figuring out what works!)

And it worked. Like magic, everyone loosened up. We all stopped taking everything so. darn. seriously. Everyone liked each other again. When Adam yelled, "TASTE TEST!" and ran for the spoons, Gracie and the other boys cheered. Smiles all around. We each had a spoonful of batter. We licked our spoons clean. And I put a batch in the oven, anticipating the homey fragrance that would seal the deal, that would make the good mood stick, that would put us back on track.

Well, hello, Beautiful.

And that is the sight of happy kids. Never underestimate the power of chocolate to make everything better.


Susie said...

Loni,you are making memories w/ your children they'll hold forever. My mother will be gone 20 years this Saturday. My sisters and I wanted to do something to remember her especially this year. We're getting together and making the Christmas wreaths she made out of corn flakes and the iced cookies we used to make. The icing was made from scratch and we're doing that too. We're also making a meal of the food that remind us most of her. These are foods that we learned to make from her. Although it's sad that she's been gone this long, we take comfort in remembering these wonderful times. You're a wonderful mother just like she was.

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