There is a peculiar burning odor in the room,
the kitchen fills with smoke
and the hot, sweet, ashy smell of scorched cookies.
The war has begun.
I’ve written here about my mother’s cooking. A lot. And how, when my boys were young, I would always put something in the crock pot so that when they got home, it smelled like love. Because I can remember a block away smelling my mom’s spaghetti sauce. And, I can see it in the cast iron skillet bubbling away.
And sometimes when you have nothing to say, you can just, well. Bake.
Tonight my son lost his soccer game. I left work so that I could see the game. When I got there, it was 2-0, the other team. He is the goalie. He saved about 15 goals. But, they got 3 more. And this kid. Well, he beats himself up. He’s very hard on himself.
As he drove up to the house after the game, I could feel the heaviness in his car. He walked in, head down, and I said how are you. And he said fine. But I could feel it.
And. I wanted to fix it. Take him in my arms and…mother him.
He put his stuff on the table, and didn’t want to talk about it. I started to do what I knew I shouldn’t do. Start asking questions. Are you okay? What did the coach say? And he looked at me, and I stopped in my tracks.
As he got cleaned up and dressed for the evening, I started baking chocolate chip bars. Just started mixing the batter. Didn’t know what else to do. By the time he was ready to eat, I said there was batter here. And the spoon. And he could have the whole thing.
And my beautiful 6’5″ son stood next to his mom at the sink as the bars were pressed into the pan. Him licking the beater and spoon. Me just being quiet.
On an ordinary night after an ordinary soccer game in this beautiful life. We just stood shoulder to shoulder. Because sometimes. There’s just. No words.