It’s a big year in our family. College applications have been submitted, a couple of acceptances received and we wait for further news. Every week brings an ending…a “last first day of high school,” followed by a “last Homecoming,” and a "last football game" at which she'll play in the pep band. My husband and I look at our daughter and say, “I wonder where you will be at this time next year.”
In December 2011, it’s likely she’ll be taking final exams about now—which made it more fun yesterday that we could step out for a shopping expedition to pick up materials for homemade gifts. As always, she teased and or disagreed with me; “Mom, you always stop right in the middle of the aisle,” and “That ribbon is fine, you don’t need to look for more,” but it is all in good fun; we found ourselves giggling more than once. The laughter is what I will miss the most, I think, next year.
And this. We stood side-by-side in the kitchen when we got home, measuring out the ingredients for homemade hot cocoa, chuckling at my bad math. (Heads up, a wet cup is eight ounces; a dry cup, much less. We have a lot of leftovers.) She measured the ingredients; I sifted them into a bowl. Every once in a while, we’d bump hips, jiggle an elbow, spill some sugar or dry milk on the counter. But in the end, the filled jars shined and the plaid ribbons she tied stuck out at jaunty angles. I typed the labels and she attached them in a way that I wouldn’t know how.
We moved the containers to the dining room table, the afternoon having delivered a successful joint effort, a mutual accomplishment; a shared achievement; feelings I’ve been lucky to experience for just about every minute of every day, over the last seventeen years.
Oh, and if I've left you craving hot cocoa, you can get the recipe for a yummy single-serving version here.