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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

rounded tablespoons

In honor of the holidays, I am departing from the traditional sleeping with bread mold, and sleeping with cookies instead. I can also blame my lateness on the holidays, even though it is really due to the fact that the day got away from me.

fat-free, sugar-free cardboard cookie replicas

I don’t like feeling helpless. It is always worse when I am helpless in regards to my children. Last night, at bedtime, S noticed that his hermit crab was hanging out of the shell and barely moving. In the life of a hermit crab, that is a pretty good indicator of illness and impending death (unless of course they are about to molt).

I came down the stairs and began my internet research on hermit crab health. After all of the reading, I could come up with several possible causes of demise (one of which has something to do with the crab’s age), but I couldn’t find any way to rescue the poor bugger. Today, the crabby passed quietly away and journeyed to the big hermit crab climbing log in the sky.

This is not the first pet my children have lost, but it opened up a discussion about death and how it is part of life. We talked about the pain of losing a critter actually helping to prepare us for greater losses later in life. We reminisced about other animals who have paved the way. Since the birth of our first child, we have lost 3 cats, two dogs, 2 gerbils, 2 rats, 1 hermit crab, and countless goldfish. Most of them have lived long lives for their respective species (except for the goldfish which tend to all die at once after the first one falls ill).

I don’t like not being able to take the pain for these children of mine. I can be of comfort in their sadness. I can point them in the direction of the true comforter, but I cannot make the pain disappear. The best I can do is help them to let the pain bring about growth.

the real thing

Perhaps that is why we made cookies today. Sure, Christmas is only a week away, and we hadn’t started baking yet, but I wasn’t planning to start until after a full day of school. Instead, we did a little bit of written work and set about exploring the science of cookie making.

A friend had passed along an extremely rich recipe for butter cookies. I decided there was no better way to bring about comfort than to bake. Not only would the sugary sweetness help to chase the blues away, but we could have a very tangible lesson in how one solid base can create so many different things.

We joined together in our dying, molding and decorating, and enjoyed each other as a family. We rejoiced in the discovery of blended ingredients. We thanked God for whispering to that first soul who somehow thought it would be tasty to combine such separately ordinary things.

They all took part – the girl acted as professional taster and consumed at least 7 cookies without assistance. The momma proclaimed that she would not care if she never saw food again.

Creation – it doesn’t take away the sadness of loss, perhaps, but it goes a long way toward setting us on the path of healing.



  • Are those the real cookies? They are beautiful!

    When my children are truly inconsolable, it isn't long before I lose it myself. I MUST FIX IT... or at least, that's what I feel compelled to do but cannot do. Arghh!

    Your day of cookie baking sounds lovely...

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 9:46 AM  

  • Yeah, those are the real cookies - picture's a tad blurry (further evidence of my photography skills and the fact that I don't know where the macro button is on the thing).

    I get like that with my kids too. Of course, many times I find that I fall apart after I know everything is going to be okay with them. And THEN I turn into a quivering blob of emotion.

    I hope all of your various activities are sailing along nicely.

    By Blogger atypical, at 10:57 AM  

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