I am reminiscing today. I close my eyes and transport myself back to a “cold” day in winter in Florida. I think I was about 5 years of age. My mom has spent a great deal of time preparing a day of fun with baking. Right this moment, I can smell the cookies. She made dozens of sugar cookies; I’m not sure when she spent the time mixing the dough and refrigerating it, but she has it all prepared. The counters are covered in cookies and wax paper, icing, new paintbrushes and decorating items. My brother and I are going to “paint” the cookies with edible icing she made.
There are star shapes, there are gingerbread men shapes, there are circles, and many other shapes of cookies. They all look and smell and feel perfect to me. Did some of them burn or crumble? I don’t know because everything seems perfect to me. Cookie after cookies is gleefully painted and decorated with candy buttons, or sprinkles, or other fun edible objects. There is no direction or fussing or oversight into how we paint our cookies. Free creativity at work. Giggles and oohs and ahhs and surreptitious sneaky tastes of icing and licking of fingers. Crumbs drop on the floor, I’m sure we smeared icing on our clothing and kitchen, but my usually cleanliness obsessed mother says nothing about the mess.
We eat the cookies afterwards and while they are delicious, the taste doesn’t mean anything compared to the time spent together. She doesn’t limit us on our sugar intake. She is the embodiment of fun, creativity, love, and patience For years, even thirty years later, I can remember this event and smell the cookies, and feel the warmth of the oven, feel the excitement and anticipation of looking at the decorating choices. I feel my mother’s love. No matter how many times I make sugar cookies, I can never quite recreate the smells, emotions, and sights of that day. Sometimes I wish I had a photograph of the day, but I have one in my mind.
My daughter loves to make cookies. I am a fast cook — having a little one helping sometimes made me feel impatient. Then I remember that day and how much it meant to me, and I remind myself to slow down and hope she will look back on one of our cooking sessions, or one of our times spent together, years from now and close her eyes and be able to re-live it.
What do you do to create lasting memories with your children?
Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, CLD, CCCE, Knoxville Doula