*Don’t Touch My Cookies originally appeared in MomSense, November 2012.
I handed each of my children a lump of cookie dough and gave them carte blanche on cutting out and decorating. “But this,” I said, raising my own ball of dough like Scarlet O’Hara holing up a fistful of Tara, “this is mine.”
Maybe the picture-perfect cookies flaunting themselves on the cover of the magazines had brainwashed me but I felt determined to produce a collection of showcase cookies for when the family came on Christmas Day. Oh, I’d let people eat them of course. After my beauties had been sufficiently adored.
I scattered cookie cutters on the table and helped the kids roll their dough. While they bickered over the snowman and the candy cane and the extraneous elephant (where did he come from?), I meticulously pressed out stars and bells. Only stars and bells. Those are the classy, Pinterest-worthy cookie shapes.
Once baked and cooled, the kids slathered their misshapen creations with red and yellow and green icing, allowing me to hoard white and powder blue. I dotted the points of my stars with white, trimmed bells in evenly spaced lines of blue, and painstakingly secured candy pearls and flecks of silver.
“Mom, the green won’t come out,” my son said.
I took a paring knife to the Ziploc baggie stuffed with icing, intending to widen the tiny corner hole, but sliced my thumb instead. A straight red line of blood appeared across my flesh. I dashed to the kitchen and held my thumb over cold water to stop the bleeding. “Just a little cut,” I assured after I was washed and bandaged.
The cookie pile was mounting and the tablespace disappearing so I began to transfer my masterpieces to a plate. One of my bells, I noticed, had a trace of red along the edge. So did another one. And another. I gave my kids the stinkeye. I told them not to touch my cookies and here they were adding red icing to my cookies. I was about to say as much when a flash of crimson from my thumb stopped me. Blood had seeped through the bandage, marring every single cookie I had touched. Ruined. By my own hand. A morbid unservable version of Thumbprint cookies.
An ugly sounding growl-cry erupted from me and I almost threw the whole plate at the wall. Shoot. I was the grownup. I pitched them into the trash instead.
“You can have some of our cookies, Mom.”
Little Christmas Angels.
The kids’ cookies were a hit; the psychedelic colors, the cross-eyed gingerbread man, the foreign elephant so desperately trying to fit in. My six unscathed, perfectly decorated bells and stars were lovely too, people said, but the kids’ cookies stole the show. As it should be.
‘Tis the season to enjoy the moment. To celebrate the grace, peace, forgiveness, and joy that Jesus brings.
‘Tis the season for us moms to lighten up. Starting with me.