Growing up, I was never a fan of television. On Saturday mornings, I would wander outside by myself, looking for things to fill my time until my neighbor friends would be done watching hours of Saturday morning cartoons. We didn’t have 200 channels to choose from back then. Maybe if I had, I would have found something that interested me.
Fast forward to present day, I’m still not a huge fan of TV. There are some shows, though, that I watch religiously. If I am unable to be home when they are scheduled to air, I make sure my DVR is set to record them for my viewing enjoyment later. Our DVR presently is 84% full. I think every show on there, with the exception of one (The Middle), aired on Food Network. I have hours of Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Cake Wars. In all of the competitive cooking shows, each participant is asked to give a short description of themselves and their cooking style. In addition, competitors are interviewed and snippets are played during the cooking time. I love to hear how each competitor found a love for the kitchen–a love that I also have. For some, cooking saved them from a life destined for prison or addiction. Many attribute their earliest cooking memories to standing on a chair cooking with their grandmas.
Maybe you can see where this is going…
My oldest child had a special relationship with my parents. They watched him full time when he was a baby while I taught school. We also lived with them for a period of time, and when we did move, we didn’t move far. My kids could stand in our backyard, look across a busy parkway and between two houses to see the front of their grandparent’s house. One time, I left the kids there for some reason–probably a doctor’s appointment–and when I came back to pick them up, my oldest, who was probably seven years old or so, was very excited to show me how he had helped grandma with cookies. My mom had made peanut butter cookies, and when they were cooled, she pulled a chair up to the counter so that my oldest son could dip half the cookies in melted chocolate and then into colored sprinkles. My son is now twenty-six and still remembers helping his grandma dip cookies.
When my first grandchild was born in 2015, I knew I wanted to be the grandma that he would grow up remembering as being in her kitchen. I had visions of teaching him to cook and bake and letting him help even if he made a mess–something that is sometimes hard for mommies to do. I pictured him, like my oldest son, standing on a chair to help his grammy in the kitchen, knowing that he would get to enjoy the rewards of his work when the cookies or cupcakes or whatever we happened to make together were finally ready to be eaten.
It is these dreams that slice into my heart now that he will no longer be living in the same state as me. Yes, I realize there will be visits where we can make memories, but the impact will not be what I had dreamed it would be. I pictured our home being like a second home to him, a place where as soon as they turned onto our street, he would grow excited because he knew he would soon be at grandma’s again.
My heart hurts when I think of it…hurts so much that I am certain I will not be able to stand up under the weight of the sadness. In less than two weeks, he will be put in his car seat, and I will wave goodbye not knowing when I will see him again.
I just can’t take it…