Published 10:01 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014
There is something fallish and decidedly grandmotherly about baking. The smell of chocolate chip cookies wafting through the house on a cool morning makes me feel… well, grandmotherly. As I scoop flour, sugar and butter into the bowl, a smile plays on my lips. I can picture my sweet 4-year-old grandson, Gauge, as I present him with the sweet treasure.
Maybe he won’t feel all the sentimental stuff we grandmas do, but I anticipate his big smile and shining eyes as he quickly exclaims, “Thanks, Gigi! You’re the best Gigi ever!” Then, of course, comes my reward, the tightest hug a little boy can muster, filling this grandma’s heart with joy. I must confess that he doesn’t save “best ever” for me only. Just shows the boy is a true diplomat with plenty of love to go around.
My sweet, single son, Manny, living in Uptown New Orleans will be another recipient of this morning’s morsels. He’ll simply say, “Thanks, Mom,” with a smile and give me one of his too infrequent hugs. Too infrequent not because he’s stingy with them — we just don’t see each other often enough to fill up this mom’s hug meter. I must confess at least one hug every day from each of my loves is a much more acceptable quota.
Manny just received his nursing license to practice in California. Seems like an adventure for him to move to “San Fran,” as he calls it, for a while. The money’s good, and he assures me it’s a beautiful city. I’m certain this is so since his taste is impeccable. As you can gather, I’m not prejudiced at all.
Problem is… Manny is of yet unattached, and I would prefer a Southern daughter-in-law. Not that I have anything against a California girl, it’s just that “Cali” is a little too far away for me to bring cookies over at will. When I see myself writing that I wonder if the lovely California girl in question would want her mother-in-law stopping by to bring cookies? Hmmmm. Maybe not.
Better get those cookies out of the oven and shower Manny with motherly love while he is still unattached and within driving distance.
Letting go of my wonderful children and watching them spread their wings and fly has been the most rewarding, and yet, most challenging part of motherhood. I don’t know why exactly, but I never even thought of life beyond their high school years.
We had such a great time together that their dad and I never wanted to see it end. In fact, we always joked that we would be parking our motor home in each of their backyards for a while every year. We figured our low electricity bill would make up for the cost of tooling around the country in a gas hog.
But things change. I can imagine their dad is smiling down on all of us from somewhere up there. Kids grow up. Grandbabies are born, and Grandmas bake cookies.
Jan Penton Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.