The Mom Cookie

I have a friend, she lives in Connecticut and her family lives in the Mid-West.  She doesn’t get to see her Mom very often.  However, whenever she does, her Mom makes her chocolate chip cookies.  We always laugh about how many cookies she is going to inhale.   One day I texted her a picture of a plastic wrapped cookie from our office cafeteria.   I said I’m sure this cookie “pales in comparison” to her Mom’s homemade cookies.

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Not a MOM cookie

As I sat there and stared at my pathetic little plastic wrapped cookie, I realized I was sad.  I haven’t had a “Mom cookie” in a long time.  My mother died in 1989 and had been sick for several years prior to her death, so I don’t think I’ve had a “Mom cookie” in 25 years.

Sure, I’ve had other cookies that other Moms made- and they are delicious.  I am a chef, I can make a cookie- and it would be delicious.  Let’s face facts,  even the worst cookie is still pretty good.  But somehow a cookie from my Mom isn’t just about the cookie.  It’s about more.

If your Mom makes you cookies or pancakes or anything… she loves you.   Even if she just gives you a tiny box of cereal on the breakfast table… she loves you.   If she reads to you, she loves you.  If she plays a game with you, or colors or helps you with your homework, she loves at you.  If she screams at you for being a stupid idiot, your Mom loves you.  I wish I had appreciated these small things more when I had the opportunity.

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My Mom

I didn’t know how much I loved her.  You only know that kind of love by its absence.

It’s not that didn’t tell my mother I loved her.  I did.  I had the opportunity to say everything I wanted to say.  However, I was 19 when she died… 43 year old Kristin would probably say very different things than 19 year old Kristin.

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My Parents

If I could have my mother back for 15 minutes… or even 5 minutes, I would tell her the following:

  • Thank you for making me call you to check-in wherever I went.  As a teenager, I hated it.  I rolled my eyes and cursed you, because I wanted to do things and go places that you would not have allowed.  That check-in call kept me out of a tremendous amount of trouble.  I still got in a, more than, acceptable level of trouble, but I would probably be in jail or living under a bridge without the upbringing my amazing parents gave me.
  • Thank you for sticking your cold hands under the bed clothes- jolting me out of a sound sleep.  You taught me not to waste the day, get up and GO.
  • Thank you for providing me with a freshly prepared dinner- Every.  Single. Night.    And thank you for insisting we sit down as a family for dinner nearly every evening.  This is SO rare today, but I am happy I had in my childhood.
  • Thank you for making me eat lima beans.  They disgust me to this day, but this taught me to be polite and eat what I am given and not to be a pain in the ass about food.
  • Thank you for allowing us to have dogs.  The bulk of our dogs were complete head-cases, and this made me appreciate the dogs I have now.   I have good dogs.
  • Thank you for teaching hard work pays off… eventually.
  • Thank you for teaching me to not to be selfish.  Being able to give to or do for another is a gift.
  • Thank you for threatening me with death if I was rude or mean or out of line.  That taught me how to speak to people with respect.  A lesson MANY people in this world don’t get.
  • Thank you for teaching me manners.
  • Thank you for teaching me that good things come to those who wait and not to settle for anything less than you deserve.   I have a terrific husband.
  • Thank you for teaching me to value an adventure.  Sometimes she and I would drive down roads we had never driven down before… just to see what was there.
  • Thank you for teaching me that adventures are great, but coming home feels awesome too.
  • Thank you for teaching me that it’s ok to laugh and to be silly.  Silliness is where I live.
  • Thank you for bringing me Hostess Cherry Pies when you would grocery shop.  Of course, my fat ass and thighs aren’t so thankful, but you knew I liked them and wanted to make me happy.

And most of all:

  • Thank you for allowing me to hate you for being a mean Mom.  You loved me enough to let me hate you.   (“Hate” is strong- perhaps “dislike due to teenage angst” might be more fitting.)  You were not my friend.  You were my mother.  You were mean because you were trying to turn me into a functional, contributing member of the human race.    Mission accomplished.

It’s these, seemingly, small things, that are actually BIG things, that we can take for granted.    I see kids having screaming fits and I think… that wouldn’t have happened on my Mom’s watch.  Well, it might have, but I would have wound up in a coffin.

I read about kids who get in trouble, stealing or doing drugs and I appreciate that I grew up in a prison camp.  I learned how to behave and when I didn’t you reminded me.  Sternly.  And sometimes with weapons.

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My Mom, me and my sister, Patti

I try to live my life with without regrets, and honestly, I have only one true regret in life, and it is something I can’t fix or undo, so I just try not to think about it.   Even though I would give anything to have my mother back, I don’t regret losing her.  I am so grateful that I had her for as long as I did.  I wouldn’t be me otherwise.  My Mom lives, tucked away, inside my heart. I wouldn’t know how much I loved her if I hadn’t lost her.

Although… a “Mom cookie” would be nice.

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Mary Ann 

May 18, 1938 – April 20, 1989

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One Response to “The Mom Cookie”

  1. lilmissmessy Says:

    I stumbled upon your blog and I love it. The hair post made me laugh until my eyes watered, and this one made me cry. I lost my mom too, and frankly, it is the little things I wish I could thank her for. All those little things that were just my “reality” as a kid, but that as a mom now I see were all tiny careful gestures of love and hard work. Thank you for sharing this.

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