One of my favorite memories growing up is of my mom baking homemade Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies. She would mix up the dough and put the bowl in the freezer and bake small batches at a time during the next few weeks.
Her cookie-baking time meant I could be in the kitchen with her.
So much so that a bowl of dough doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell hanging out in the freezer.
Full transparency: there isn’t a “bowl of dough” happening, anyway.
In my house we do Nestle’s “break-n-bake” because - while I do think there’s something slightly missing from the taste by taking this time-saving route, you know that my claim to fame is cutting corners.
Look, I’d love to be the Suzie Homemaker-est of all the moms, but the truth is, I just don’t have the patience. 🤷
I’ve passed down my deep love of chocolate chip cookies to my kids.
The three of us descend on our kitchen like a bunch of velociraptors when the smell of cookies baking wafts through our house.
Sometimes we bake them together, or I’ll surprise them with a batch if we have a rare bad-weather day off of school. And they’ve always been served up warm on a platter after the first day of school (and because I’m desperate for my son to like me, I even had some delivered warm to him after his first day of college classes).
While I do realize that food - especially fatty, sugar-filled food like chocolate chip cookies - is not the healthiest way to find comfort, it IS important to have something - a song, a dish, a daily ritual like sipping tea in the evening or reading a certain book on Christmas Eve - that you share with your kids throughout their childhood.
These special moments create connections with our kids, who will find comfort in them throughout their lives.
If your kids still live at home, it’s not too late to have that special something that connects you.
One way is this: if your older child is like most, they probably “do their own thing” for dinner. Tell them you’d like to share at least one or two dinner times around the table with them each week.
And make the effort to stick with it, even if it means harping on them to make the time (and it will mean harping on them).
Or make a coffee date with them each Saturday morning (late morning, of course 🙄).
Listen, I know they aren’t always easy to be around. Teenagers are assholes. It’s universal.
But they need to feel connected to their family more now than they ever have before, or ever will again.
They want you to build connections with them. They need you to build connections with them.
And it will be worth the effort.