It was a hard day, I was done. Dinner over and the solitude of my bedroom surrounded me with just the right kinda’ cozy. There is a gentle knock and the youngest finds his way to tell me about his day, of trading at school, and his teacher being out sick. With one glance he knows that something is not right. My necklaces are tosseled in a clump on my dressing table. “Your necklaces” he says with a quiet knowing, he begins to gently untangle them. They are a mass of gifted treasures that have become a mess. Much like the compartments of my heart. He gently untangles and lays them neatly side by side, giving each his full attention. Making mention of favorites and asking questions. Each one has a story, I keep most to myself. His favorite is my oldest piece, gifted to me from my own grandmother. There is no need to tell him to be careful, he is using his own initiative to make this right. I am blessed beyond measure.
He settles back in his chair, we have not had much to say. I haven’t told him that my heart is heavy and that I wonder if my mothering is sufficient. He knows nothing of the charges that my eldest son faces or the unpredictable outcome of today’s court case, and yet he looks me straight in the face and says, “Let’s make cookies.
I am smiling now as I watch him. An old soul or one who has been taught well. You see it has been a long standing tradition, we make cookies.
As a child, I would come home a bit fussed up from my day. Mom could tell by the click in my step and the sharpness of my heal. No words between us, she would set out the bowl and the recipe. She had a special plan for days like this, cookies. Not just any cookies, she had a batch that had to be made with your hands. They were rightfully called aggression cookies. We first had to go to the sink and wash and scrub off the day. A big batch with gooey hands and little correction. I knew if I did well, they came out delightful. If I was too mad and sassy, I would put to much of this, and not enough of that, and I would have a mess. She would gently remind me. Pay attention.
I am sitting now by the wood stove in my kitchen. I am drinking tea and my heart is happy. The gentle reminder of my mother’s voice, “Pay attention. Do not let the troubles of today cause too much of this and not enough of that, you are not a mess.”