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Old recipe: Modern Child

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I made him. It’s Chanukkah after all. Of course he said “no” first. He’s twelve going on seventeen and none of this is cool anymore. Guitars are cool. So are purple high-top sneakers. And video games that block me out. But baking with Mom? “Okay if I have to . . . “ He adored all the fuss as a small child but now that he’s wearing a man’s size ten shoe, he’s forgotten. He’s forgotten a lot of things. How to effuse. How to hold Mom’s hand in public.  How to answer questions about his day in more than one syllable. “What did your music teacher say about your concert last night?” “Good.” “That’s all after months of preparing? Just ‘good’?” “Yeah. No. What?” Each night, I worry over the backpack spilled on the floor, the messy school folder. When I look closer, though, I see everything is fine. He has even taken out the garbage and emptied the dishwasher as I requested. Reading by his side while he shoots imaginary aliens with a digital shooter, I’m suddenly amazed at his profile. The toddler’s softness replaced by handsome angles, the unruly copper curls, once so embarrassing they had to be hidden under hats, now worn loose and free. At the counter, leaning over the flour, he was patient, mixing, whisking, measuring. Doing it for me. A kindness. I reminded him how to form the braid. Hand over hand, too big yet for the still-catching-up wrists, he gently lifted each rope of shining dough and placed it just so. And when it was done, he smiled. Such radiance. Over this magical, simple thing, this sweet and homey bread. Happy Hanukkah.







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What a heartwarming and touching story Nan. Our children grow up so fast, and their interests diverge from ours for a number of years. However, there then comes that time when they once again become interested in many of the same things that interest us. You then have a new relationship with them, which is less about parent and child, and more about being great friends. Food often plays a big part of that “new” relationship, and the bond that you and Max have based on food and baking will undoubtedly play a big role in your later “friendship.” ‘

Cheers,
Bruce

    – Bruce Ring (December 12 2009 at 5:16)



Lovely story. So glad when people teach their children food traditions! Our son appreciates lefse and meatballs, foods of his immigrant Norwegian ancestors. Next time he’s home, we’re going to teach him how to make lefse!

    – Cynthia (December 13 2009 at 7:56)



So beautiful, Nan. You’ve described the scene so perfectly that I could see it quite clearly. He will remember these times with you with love and gratitude.

    –  (December 13 2009 at 7:15)



a wonderful memory to last a life time!  a mother’s love in prose!
touched my heart!  love, mom92area

    –  (December 13 2009 at 7:53)



Hi,
This is my first time here and you have touched my soul.

My son, now in his thirties, just recently returned to “Mom’s” kitchen. I don’t think those memories ever really leave them although, they may stay on the back burner for more time then we can bear.

Thank you so much for sharing, Cynthia was so right, I enjoyed my visit immensely.

    – Louise (December 16 2009 at 10:37)


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