Apparently, except for the 2 wonderful children that my wife and I created, my mom thinks that my ability to make these cookies ‘the best that I’ve ever had’ is my greatest life accomplishment. I’ve always made these things but despite her diabetes and other health ailments of an 84-year-old body, I’ve been making these to take when I go see her in the nursing home in Lexington. At this point in her life, if she wanted a fried honeybun covered in chocolate syrup, a beer, and a cigarette we’d give it to her. Just is what it is.
Watching her eat these and the smile on her wrinkled and aged face, I do wonder if that’s the same delighted look that I had on my chunky face when I was a kid and she cooked these delicious chocolate monsters. Sittin in her recliner with her moo moo on and totally wrapped up in a Hallmark movie, her eyes brighten up when I walk in now. And like our housedog Daisy, her eyes drop to my hands to see if there is food in them. With Daisy I have to show empty hands, like a poker dealer, to have any peace. But with mom, I just open that container of cookies and she usually says something like ‘I’ve been waiting on those’.
It’s no secret that my mother and myself haven’t always seen eye to eye. But that’s not unusual in families. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you’re not human.
However, these cookies bridge that distance a little bit. They’re common ground. Her thinking isn’t always on par now, and she usually asks me ‘HOW do you do this?’. I recant that same recipe every week and while she munches them, she continues to marvel at their amazingness.
Then, after a while her blood sugar sufficiently spikes and she slows. She’ll tell me about Frank coming to visit her again yesterday. She promises and is convinced that this redbird that comes to her feeder is our dad who passed in 2009.
She doesn’t recall the time when I was a kid and she had cooked a batch of these and she had tossed the spoon into the kitchen sink. While the cookies set, she left the kitchen. I went over to the sink, reached over and took out the chunky spoon, closed my little eyes and licked it with all my heart. However, that wasn’t what was on that spoon.
Not tall enough to see in the sink, I had accidentally extracted the catfood spoon. In case you haven’t tried it, I can NOT recommend Little Friskers for your palate. I gagged, spat, spewed, probably said an emergency curse word I’d heard on the school bus #33 and nearly just died right there in the kitchen floor.
Not sure that anything has ever been as disappointing in my life as eating cat food when I thought it was a chocolate oatmeal cookie.
I do think to this day that is the reason that I’m not a big fan of fish.
After some time, mom will then return to the cookies today and savor the spilled crumbs on her moo-moo. Last week I had to tell her there was some cookie hanging off of her chin. Yes, she ate that too. Face it, we all would.
Truth be told, I’m not 100% sure that she is this enamored with the cookie itself as much as she WANTS me to think. But rather she is satisfied with the fact that we can share in this common culinary ceremony. And I’m ok with that. It makes me happy to see her with chocolate cookie crumbs on her clothes and the dangling chocolate chad hanging from her red-painted lips.
And we all need a little more happy in our lives.
So, despite some obstacles in our lives, sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can help bring two or more people together. No expensive therapist. No intense talks. No everyone ‘clearing the air’ and everyone being ‘transparent’. (for Pete’s sake, people, keep some things to yourself like we used to do).
Sometimes, all you need to help narrow a gap is just a little bit of
That’s the best that I can tell about it,