Baking for grandparents a message of love

Q: The other day my seven-year-old granddaughter said to me that I did not need to make cookies for her and her little brother every time they came over to our house. Actually, Grandma has said the same thing to me. “Charlie,” she said, “we can get cookies from the store any day of the week. You don’t need to go fussing about the kitchen every time the kids come over.”

I suppose that they are right but somehow making cookies is what grandfathers do and as long as I am able to do so, I would like to keep this thing going. What do you think Mr. Andrews? Am I missing something here? Is there something wrong with a good old fashioned homemade cookie?

A: Well, Charlie, I suspect that both your granddaughter and your wife are right. You don’t have to make cookies. There is nothing mandatory about it. But I tend to be on your side in this one.

Grandpa’s cookies are more than just cookies. They are moments of love and are just about the most beautiful way of saying, “I love you” to your grandchildren that there is.

Ten or fifteen years from now your granddaughter is not likely to remember that Christmas gift that you and Grandma gave to her even though you could barely afford it. Neither is she going to remember all that much about the trip to Disneyland, or is it Disney World? But she will remember the cookies.

More than that, she will remember the love that went with the cookies and as she bounces through her journey in life and runs into the occasional glitch along the way just remembering the cookie, the love that went with it, and that carefully crafted message that she is a wonderful person, will go along way to supporting her when she needs encouragement the most.

What I am reading in your letter is that your cookies are remarkably consistent. They are predictable, Your grandchildren know that you will have cookies for them each and every time they are able to visit you.

That might not sound like much but if you look at the world in which children are challenging these days you cannot help but take note of the overwhelming sense of inconsistency treading through a child’s developmental progress. They have parents and stepparents and weekend parents and single parents along with whole siblings, half siblings and stepsiblings.

Often as not kids move from one neighborhood to another three or four times, changing schools with each and every time they move and having to make new friends to compliment their extra curricular activities.

Grandparents are in the mix too. Many kids these days have upwards of six or eight grandparents competing for space under the Christmas tree and otherwise hoping for a bit of recognition. It is not that easy for kids.

But if you throw in your homemade cookies and share them with your grandchildren they are going to make that cup of hot chocolate even more memorable and etch your place in your grandchildren’s memory banks in a therapeutic place for a very long time.

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