Hello my friend,
I remember we stood in line waiting to check our bags but I can’t remember where we were going. I balanced Will on my hip while he sucked away on his binky. Hanna danced around with her doll baby and Jack lay on the ground saying, “I’m sooo tired.” I’m sure I looked frazzled as I tried to keep my little tribe corralled and moving forward with the line. I remember this older gentleman approached me and said, “What a beautiful family you have. Enjoy this age. It goes fast.” Another man behind me, snorted and said, “Yeah, pretty soon they turn into teenagers who don’t want anything to do with you.”
A handful of years later, I was at one of my book club meetings. It must have been toward the end of the school year. I was talking about how I couldn’t believe that Hanna, my eldest, was headed off to middle school in the fall. One of my book club friends, who is about eight years ahead of me in the parenting process, turned to me and said, “You are about to hit warp speed. You won’t believe how fast it goes from now until they graduate from high school.”
Hanna graduated from high school last week.
Just typing those words puts a lump in my throat. Ridiculous. I know. It’s difficult for me to find the words to try to describe the emotional tsunami that hit my house this past year and especially this past month: happy, sad, melancholy, excited, nostalgic. Constant questioning: Did I do enough? Did I teach her enough? Did I spend enough time with her?
I feel fortunate to have gone through Hanna’s senior year with one of my dearest friends from college. Hanna and her son, who also graduated this year, have known each other since they were babies. Many mornings this past year, I would send her a text message that read, “Having a tough day. Can’t talk. Might start crying. Knew you could relate.” The next time, the same text message would be from her.
I hosted 20 of Hanna’s friends at my home for their Senior Prom dinner plus their parents for the picture-taking portion. When my dear friend from college arrived, we looked at each other and both immediately teared up. She said to me, “How did we get here? Is this it? This is how we pass from one generation to the next? And we’re remembered for one, maybe two generations? And then what?”
All of these milestones in Hanna’s life have been even more emotional due to the fact that my mom is no longer here. I said to someone recently, “While I’m sure Hanna would love to have her Nana at all of these events, it’s really me that would love to be sharing all of this with my mom.”
Last Saturday afternoon, five of us families hosted a graduation celebration for Hanna and four of her friends with whom she’s been in school since kindergarten. A few days before the party, I found myself weeping over the fact that I needed my mom’s help. She was a master at throwing big parties and I knew she would have had the red and white tablecloths I needed with the little weights to hold them down in the wind. She would have had the extra beverage containers. She would have known how much pulled pork would feed 75 plus people. But I couldn’t call her and I felt a sense of desperation that somehow she be present at the party.
So, I made her Snickerdoodle cookies. She made these cookies throughout my childhood. Next to her molasses crinkle cookies, these remind me most of her and these cookies were the first ones to be gobbled up by the teenagers at the party. Through a simple, old-fashioned cookie recipe, my mom was present at her first grandchild and only granddaughter’s graduation celebration.
Sometimes, some of us do monumental things with our lives and are publicly remembered for generations. Sometimes a simple recipe passed down from one generation to the next keeps our spirit alive and we are not forgotten. Somehow I find comfort in that.
|Betty's Snickerdoodle Cookies with Butter|| || |
- 2¾ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Combine your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 1½ cups sugar with an electric mixer for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Mix in vanilla.
- Slowly add dry ingredients.
- Wrap your dough up in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes and up to a day.
- Meanwhile, combine 4 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon together
- Pull your dough from the refrigerator. Break off by large tablespoons and form balls. Roll balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 9-10 minutes or until slightly golden on edges. Pull from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for one minute. Move cookies to a cooking rack and let cool.
- Eat and enjoy!