I recently made an impulse purchase. This is not something I do often.
I was invited to a Pampered Chef Facebook party, a whole new avenue of temptation. Silly me. With just a couple of curious, unguarded clicks, there it was: my cookie press.
Nostalgia took over.
I helped my Grandma Lewis make cookies with a cookie press once. One time. I don’t remember what time of year it was, nor that warm-sugar smell of them baking. I don’t even remember how fabulous the cookies tasted.
I remember making them.
The dough had cream cheese in it and was yummy before it even went into the press. How could the cookies be anything but tasty on the other side? How fascinated I was with watching the dough ooze through the different disks at the bottom of the press and become the most lovely cookies I’d ever seen.
Of course I wanted to try my hand at it. It looked easy enough. It wasn’t. My enthusiasm was squashed when my attempts looked nothing like hers. She reassured me that it just took practice and gave me other jobs I could do, like sprinkling colored sugar over those beautiful shapes or filling centers with strawberry jam. I knew someday I would be able to press cookies just like her.
Someday would be a long time coming. Though I did press play dough every chance I got, so perhaps I got some practice in after all. We shall see.
The other pressing matters?
My Grandma Lewis was not deliberately trying to create a memory that would last a lifetime. She was happy to include me in an activity of her everyday life. Nothing can erase the warm simplicity of being together and being allowed to be childishly curious, determined, disappointed and reassured. It doesn’t take an expensive, coordinated “event” to make an impression. Yes, those parties will be well-recorded. Trips to the zoo or the circus are good times for bonds to be strengthened. But the everyday chores and activities hold great potential, too.
Thus it becomes a pressing matter to spend time with the children we love–our own, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, even the children next door. The more time we share, the greater their storehouse of memories. We won’t know in the moment which ones will hold a special place–and perhaps make a huge difference–in a young one’s heart.
Do it now. Don’t wait till later; we might not have the time we think we do to make more of them. I lost my grandmother when I was eight.
So now it is on to the pressing matter of real practice. Next time my great-nieces are here we will press cookies.
Do you have a similar childhood memory? What made it special?