In a season of go, go, go, I am trying to be still. My daughter and I sit at brunch together, just me and her, and I resist the urge to check my phone or scan the room. Just sit and watch her, trying to be present when it matters. She makes her toy cat a blanket out of a paper napkin, colors swirls, red, and green, and blue. She doesn’t get bored, and neither do I.
The waitress sets down a dish of chilled melon for her, an autumn hash for me. We say cheers and clink glasses. Eat. It is good. And then afterwards we wander the streets, pick out cupcakes and holiday presents for her dad. She hold my hand as we walk, the cat tucked into her pocket.
The next day is more of the same – the two of us, being quiet together. We spend hours making cookies, just me and her and an army of cookie cutters. She’s good at cutting out shapes, dusting the cutters in flour before the first cuts. Ninjas and polar bears. Squirrels and sheep and hearts. She sneaks bites of dough between each shape. Later, she dumps the flour on the floor and says she’s making it snow.
I let her. I want her to see there is good in this, in creative messes. But then she shakes out the sprinkles. Lord, the sprinkles. When I vacuum the house later, it will take five passes to get the floor clean. They roll out of the woodwork like tiny beads, crunching under our soles, leaving streaks of color on the bottom of our feet.
P.S. I used these sugar cookie and royal icing recipes, with a few tweaks, like chilling the dough. Also, how rad are these ninja cookie cutters? They were a gift from my in-laws a few Christmases past, and boy, does my family know me well.