These Things Take Time

I’ve held this moment close to my heart for eight years now. It was summertime at the lake. One kid was in a kayak, the girls were sharing secrets up in the bunk room. The youngest was running up and down the long dock (the lake was low that year), timing himself with his new watch. In the house, my mother was trying out a new brownie recipe. She was making it especially for the little dock-runner. His birthday had just passed and she thought she’d capture his quiet, shy, eleven-year-old heart with what she was calling “Peanut Butter Celebrations.”

After brushing the sand off his feet and finding the courage, he came into the kitchen where all the grown-ups stood laughing and chatting. Not his favorite scene to enter. My mother quietly took him to the side and revealed the platter of brownies she’d made just for him. His eyes opened wide and he politely took one (“Just one,” he remembered the etiquette bestowed upon him) along with a napkin. “You can have as many as you’d like,” my mother announced, loudly enough to let us know that our best efforts with etiquette-teaching were now out the window.

We watched with grins as the eleven-year-old returned to the kitchen quietly, over and over, checking to see if anyone was watching. Another brownie. And another. And another. Half the platter and an hour or so later we found him zonked out on the couch, napkin in hand and a satisfied smile on his face. It wasn’t until we were on our way home later that night that he rattled on about “Those Brownies” and asked if I could get the recipe to bring home to Wisconsin. Later, my mother smiled broadly at the request and happily shared it with me.

That was eight years ago. Unbelievable. Where did the time go? When I opened my recipe book today, it fell to the page where I’d taped my mother’s ingredients. I’d brought the recipe home and placed it in the binder, then passed by the page for eight years. Why hadn’t I ever gotten around to it?! I berated myself (as all mothers do) until I reflected for a moment. Then I gave myself a pass. In that eight years we’ve had four kids graduate from high school and move to new places. We’ve subsequently been through college graduations, basic training ceremonies, and many changed plans. We’ve navigated kids moving across the state, across the country, up into the wilds of Alaska. Some of them have moved three or four times over by now. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No need to list it all…people everywhere are crazy-busy. My story is no different, just the locations and the details are my own. And so I gave myself a pass.

Today, however, as the binder opened and “Peanut Butter Celebrations” peeked out from behind the soups, breads, and other assorted recipe cards, I decided it was the day. The little dock-runner is heading off this week for his sophomore year in college, and it is absolutely a time to celebrate all the wonderful things about family.

Click here to share our family “Peanut Butter Celebration Brownies” with the ones you love. Or just print it and store it away for eight years…they are worth the wait.

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