Today, we start making Christmas cookies. I’ve written in years past all about the explosion of sprinkles and various motherhood lessons along the way. I’ve written about how I can measure my daughter’s growth and maturity based on how well the baking and decorating goes.
So it all begins again today: the butter, the sugar, the icing, and the flour. This time, I have eager helpers who last exactly three minutes before they get into some other activity. At the kitchen table, one draws while the other crochets. They play dolls for a bit and then watch a Christmas show.
We’re all singing along to music.
Behind the counter, I’m covered in sprinkles. Frosting drips from my hair.
“I love making Christmas cookies,” they say. But they aren’t making the cookies; I am. For the first time, they aren’t with me in the same way. They are with me, but not with me.
Oh, they grow. They grow up and away, and this is right and good.
Christmas Cookie Day, I realize, is no longer about cookies. It’s a symbol, a nostalgic representation for them.
“I love making Christmas cookies,” they say again. I’m looking at these no-longer-little girls and understanding my new parenting roll. I will roll out a thousand more cookies each year, and they will be with me but not with me.
They’ll remember this day and all the fun we had together making cookies. They loved this day, and I did, too. I’ll just remember it a little differently.