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by ALEXANDRIA RUHS
This memory, like many others, will fade into a canvas of eternal happiness and carefree laughter that is childhood. But to me, as I look at his smiling face, to me this will be a number of memories I will archive and remember for the years when he claims to be “too old” for time with his mother.
He giggled as his short and clumsy fingers work the dough into a disfigured ball. I gave him a chunk of cookie dough and his face took an expression of intense concentration. His tongue moved from one corner of his mouth to the other. His nose crinkled and his lips pursed. When he couldn’t form a ball he gave up, popped the chunk of dough in his mouth, and smiled up at me.
There was no limit to his cuteness. All I wanted was to keep him at this age forever and never let him go. I’d love to be able to always go on walks to the park, or shopping at the mall, or even bake cookies.
The oven beeped signaling it was ready for our dough to go in. He smashed down his last ball of dough onto the baking sheet. I opened the oven while reminding him to “be careful because it’s hot”.
He watched me put one baking sheet in, then I helped him with the other. I closed the oven door and turned on the light so he could look in. He sat on the kitchen floor starring in the window of the door.
The expression on his face quickly went from one of wonder to one of boredom and he turned around to ask me “When will the cookies be ready?”
I told him “It’s going to be a few more minutes. Why don’t we play with your toys for a little bit?”
He took that option, ran into the living room and started on his first architectural feat of an empire state building-like tower. He went through a few buildings and towers before the oven announced the cookies were ready with three long beeps.
With a great deal excitement he ran to the kitchen. The biggest smile spread across his face at the thought of hot n’ ready-to-eat chocolate chip cookies.
I pulled the cookies out and placed them on a cooling rack.
“They’re still hot, so we have to wait only a little bit longer,” I told him.
He just sat at the kitchen table watching them and waiting for that moment when I give the OK.
After testing a cookie for heat by poking it, he exclaimed, “We should taste them to make sure they’re good”.
I smiled and he gobbled the cookie before I could even say the word ‘yes’.
Those moments, those precious, one-of-a-kind moments that give me such pleasure and happiness. They are what make me glad that I was able to have that little miracle even in these, his teenage years. These are the years where the basketball team and the girl who sits next to him in third period take precedence over his mother and those precious moments we used to share.
He is so grown up now. I hear his call pull up; he’s come home from basketball practice. It’s amazing that within a blink of an eye he grew three feet, has to shave, and drives himself to school. As he comes in through the front door he plops his gym bag and backpack on the stairs and comes into the kitchen for his afternoon snack.
“Hey, Mom,” he says as he rummages through the fridge.
When did I become mom instead of mommy?
He’s pulled his head out of the fridge, “Are you making cookies?”
“Yes I am,” I say as I pour chocolate chips into my mixing bowl.
“Can I help?”
At first I was a little surprised, but altogether glad. He wanted to bake cookies with me instead of surf the internet, or play video games with his friends, or shoot hoops with his dad. I smiled.
“Yes, but get in the shower first”.
He gave me a smile back, stole a chunk of dough out of my bowl, and popped it into his mouth. These memories are just as, if not more, precious than the others.