My husband brought home a cookie. It was the “gift” from one of those professional organization meetings he attends on a regular basis. He’s an out-going guy, and he works in a profession that values both its organizations and its meetings. He attends a lot of these. Most of them have some kind of sweet treat as a parting gift.
So the cookie appeared in our kitchen. It was a pretty great cookie: shortbread with icing. And sprinkles. It sat on our counter for a couple of days. It looked all innocent and everything. You know, “I’m just a cookie. Just sitting here, minding my own business.” But, in its heart, I know that cookie was mocking me. It was taunting me with its sprinkle-covered yumminess.
Because I’m an adult. More than that, I’m the MOM. This means the cookie should not ever be for me. It means I shouldn’t even give in to the all-too-human weakness of wanting the cookie. I have a child. She’s firmly in her snarly pre-teen years, so she isn’t all cute and cuddly any longer. It isn’t easy now to give her the cookie — not like it used to be when she was small and adorable and missing her two front teeth. I feel bad even writing this out loud, but it’s true: bigger kids aren’t as much fun or as cute as littler ones. Doesn’t mean we don’t love them. No, the love is still there, going strong. Just, you know, some of the cute is gone.
Even so, the “Mom” in me said I should give the cookie to my child. I gave her life, after all. After that, giving up one little cookie should be easy, right? And so, I resolved to walk away. I would do the right thing. I would leave the cookie for my child. Even if she was a snarly pre-teen. Even if said cookie had sprinkles.
That’s where I left it. For two days. Two long days of looking at the cookie. Two days of walking by the counter and carefully ignoring the cookie’s presence. My daughter never ate it. She never even paid the least bit of attention to it. Did she have no idea of the sacrifice I was making for her happiness?!?
Today, I ate the cookie. It was in crinkly, shiny cellophane that was tied closed with a silver ribbon. Silver, like the happiness in my soul as I unwrapped this forbidden delight. I may have done all of this while hiding in the bathroom, behind a locked door. I have no regrets. I have no shame. I mentioned the sprinkles, right? What can I say? The sprinkles had me at hello.