When my oldest was in preschool, I was the mom who made homemade cookies for his class on every holiday. They were the kind you have to roll out. Cut. Bake. Then frost with tinted icing one by one. Even though I was working, it felt important to make something to show him he was loved.
My second son came along and maybe those frosted cookies were just sprinkled with the same color sugar. It saved time.
By the time my oldest was in first grade, I was teaching, back in grad school, and somehow found myself PTO co-president halfway through the year. Schoolwork happened after the kids went to bed. And PTO emails often happened at odd hours of the night (or was it morning by then?).
Needless to say, there were no more cookies for school on holidays.
But there were still the hastily baked birthday cupcakes to share with teammates on their birthdays. Those cupcakes lasted into middle school.
This week I have a (kind of big) birthday.
Tonight at dinner while we were coordinating the details of who’s heading to practice, who’s studying for which chemistry test, and what’s for dinner tomorrow, my husband reminded the oldest about making “cupcakes for Mom to bring to work.” And after a flurry of post-dinner cleanup and packing for hockey off went my husband and youngest leaving Daniel and I in the kitchen.
Daniel, as he is wont to do, noticed something about the hand mixer that none of the rest of us ever have. He observed in fascination. I smiled.
He measured and mixed. He ladled the batter into the cupcake tins and tucked them in the oven. I worked on a tomato sauce nearby.
I watched him with a mother’s awe, remembering the round baby cheeks, soft toddler hands, and playful boyish face I kissed as I made cookies and cupcakes for all those holidays. Now he’s lean, with chiseled features. He knows his way around the oven without my help.
So while I’m feeling my new age, I saw tonight a glimpse of the love that has filled the years. I was filled by something more than pride as I looked up at my son.
Plus, it was fun to spend an hour together in the kitchen. Most days we’re heading in opposite directions. Lately, my love is shown through asking about chemistry with interest (though it’s so foreign I don’t know how I ever made it into organic chem).
Cupcakes. What a treat!