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Can cookies change your life?

I walked into the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon. “Do you want to make cookies?” my mom said.

I was 14. “What?” A roll of cookie dough stretched across a cutting board.

She tried to look casual. “Well, I’ve never made cookies for you. And I thought I’d be a good mom and, you know, make some cookies. They’re just chocolate chip. And they’re not from scratch, but, you know, I’m sure they’ll be fine.”

“You don’t have to make cookies, Mom. I’m okay if you don’t make cookies.”

She nodded. “I know. I know. But moms usually do make cookies and we’ve never done that.”

“Yeah. Okay. I’d like that. Let’s make these cookies then.”

Have you seen the movie Stranger Than Fiction? I like this movie.

In this scene Ana asks Harold the kind of negative question that expects an affirmative answer, “I mean, after a really awful, no-good day didn’t your mom make you cookies?”

“No,” Harold says. “Store bought.”

And the viewer could believe that this is why Harold isn’t living his life. This is where it all went wrong. His mother gave him store bought cookies.

I can’t work, do chores, make art, write, and make cookies. Is my son going to grow up and say, “My mom never made me cookies. She was too busy writing.” I do, at least, read him bedtime stories. And then I sit by his bed and work on my novel while he falls asleep.

So, what are you not doing when you are writing?

13 thoughts on “Can cookies change your life?

  1. Well, I can’t say it’s making cookies. My wife’s done it with the kids, but they aren’t all that into it. Hopefully those non-cookie-making days don’t come back to bite us all with serial killer children.

    πŸ™‚ You can still be a good mom without making cookies.

    • I guess it is the symbolism in the cookies. Let’s face it, lots of women public figures end up doing some silly publicity stunt making cookies because cookies are supposed to prove something.

      It could be a tee-shirt–Cookies Prevent Serial Killers.

  2. Love Stranger Than Fiction. I’m not ordinarily a huge Will Ferrell fan, but he’s nice and restrained in it. (And Maggie Gyllenhaal and Emma Thompson at their most appealing.) And the premise is pretty unbeatable!

    Weekdays, especially at unproductive times, I really ought to be sleeping instead of “writing.” (I don’t get enough sleep.) During my longer Saturday-morning sessions, I pretty much fail at everything else: the dog goes unattended to, The Missus knows better than to try talking to me (not that I’d protest or snap at her: she just knows I can’t write if I’ve got to stop to talk). Dishes remain unwashed, the deck unswept, the newspaper at the end of the driveway (which, lately, means it’s soaking up rainwater). I tend to get lost, cut off from the real world, somewhere around 45 minutes or so into a writing session.

  3. I worry about things besides cookies. Like, I’ve never taken any of the children to sit on Santa’s lap. I’ve only had photos taken at a studio twice. They can’t have other kids over to our house because of the fragrance. So I wonder if their experience in the world later will teach them they were neglected as children.

    But to answer your question, I do laundry when I’m not writing. It never ends.

    • Laundry. Laundry is my life.

      And I’m not taking my kid to sit on Santa’s lap. The list of things I don’t do! But we love the little blighters and we’re in their lives. I like to think of it as giving my son material for great stories when he’s older. “My mom? Oh she used to…”

  4. P.S. Btw, after I posted my comment above, I figured out a way to kill the snowflakes. Scroogeish, I know, but they were driving me sloooowly insane while trying to comment. And lucky you: now I can go back to writing 500-word comments, haha.

    • I like the snowflakes, but feel bad they drive you crazy. Really. I’m glad you’ve figured something out because now I can stop feeling guilty for having them! Bring on the 500 words!

  5. I liked that movie, even though I don’t care for Wil Farrell. I’ve been trying to get Darc to watch it but he hates Wil Farrell more than I do.

    Most moms don’t make cookies anymore, and it’s no big deal. I like to make cookies, but I won’t make the roll them out and frost and decorate them kind – drop cookies only for me. Kids don’t care about cookies. The care about time and attention. I’m sure your son will turn out just fine and won’t feel he was neglected at all. πŸ™‚

    • Stranger than Fiction is the only Will Ferrell movie I’ve ever seen. But I really liked him in it.

      I just hate being in the kitchen at all. For anything. In so many ways though our culture seems to measure love–especially from mom–by food. Aauurgh! I hate the kitchen though!

  6. Well, you already know my thoughts on cookies. I’d rather be making foamy sticker art. πŸ™‚ And I agree with DarcsFalcon: kids care about time and attention.

    I figure as long as my kids know they are loved unconditionally, fed, clothed, housed, and well-schooled, everything else is gravy. And I mean EVERYTHING, which most certainly includes home-made cookies.

    When I’m not writing, I’m feeling guilty for not writing. C’est la vie.

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