For the past 5 years I have had the same Sunday routine. Baking chocolate chip cookies for the kids and Kat. There are certain things that have been sacred to us as we have created a home that the kids wanted to be around. There are the obvious family characteristics like love, truth and respect that we keep in front of all that we do. We also wanted this home to feel like a hug. Hugs are warm, they nourish you and all hugs smell like love. You can find the same with the smell of a home made cookie. My Sunday cookies became my actionable love for my family. It was my way of whipping up something warm and nourishing and wrapped their bellies in a tight hug.
I know the chocolate chip cookie recipe by heart. Sometimes they would ask for a different recipe but eventually I would return to the same chocolate chip cookie. I would fill the house with the same smells, anticipating the return of Ian and Bella after being gone a week at their dad’s. It took me only about 10 minutes to whip it up. I could make a double batch without sampling the batter or even stealing a bite of a cookie fresh out of the oven.
In the last 3 months since Ian’s suicide, there hasn’t been space for rituals and routines that once filled my Sunday’s. Obviously the cookie baking on Sunday’s disappeared as I search for an ever-elusive normal. The amount of space these damn cookies took up in my brain these last 12 weeks has been ridiculous.
I have missed the smell of the sugar,chocolate and batter that fills our home. Yet there is an tangible hole and absence of anticipation that this ritual used to bring me. I miss watching the cookies disappear in a matter of days. I miss watching Ian take a few for breakfast on the way to school. I miss adding some to his lunch I would pack him. I miss everything about our lives from 3 months ago.
I tried making a batch this morning. It’s Sunday after all. But I messed up the recipe and forgot the brown sugar. The plan was to bake the cookies and take them to Kat and her crew at the fire station. After realizing I forgot the brown sugar, I imagined Ian saying “It’s okay Momma” and he’d give me one of his famous slight side smiles that would make everything okay. So I fixed the batter and started fresh and I will bring my beautiful girlfriend and her crew some cookies today.
I am giving myself grace. I give myself grace to mess up and try again. I will keep searching to find new anchors to tether me down and keep me from floating away in this sea of grief. If I could give you one ask this week…make some cookies and fill the air with the sweet smell of chocolate chip cookies, give your sweet babies a taste of actionable love.