Baking Cookies for Halloween....
But for whom?

One of the sheer joys that I have in life is a weekly visit to Indy to see my two youngest grandchildren.  I have done that weekly trip to Indy for over five years.  It is fun for them, but it is something to which I look forward and cherish.  They want to have fun, but, in the process, their minds are like magnets.  They both want to learn about things like famous paintings, fossils, and space exploration.

Recently, I went down to Indy a couple of days before Halloween.  I told their mother that I would bake Halloween cookies for them during my visit.  On the day of the visit, she told them what I was planning to do with them...bake cookies.

I arrived and the two of them came out to welcome me to their home with excitement and hugs.  Jack jumped into my arms hugging and kissing.  Owen waited patiently for his turn.  I picked him up.  He was excited like his older brother.  However, when he hugs, he hugs quietly for a significant amount of time.  It is like he wants some quiet time in my arms.  It is a wonderful feeling without anything being said by either of us.  He just cuddles up into my arms and hugs. 

When he was finished hugging, he looked at me with excitement written all over his face and said, "We are going to make cookies for you."  I replied, "No, you and Jack are going to make cookies for you and your family."  If he was excited about baking cookies for me, you should have seen his face when he realized that the cookies were for him and his family.  Sheer joy and delight could be seen all over his face!  His expression went from being excited about making the cookies for me to looking like he had gotten a million dollars or perhaps a million cookies.  Thus began another of many times of them baking cookies, pies, and cakes with me.   

Jack prepared the white icing with food coloring.  We had a long discussion regarding whether bat cookies should have blue icing.  Owen did not really care about blue icing, although he suggested yellow, which is his favorite color for bats.

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Once we resolved the needed colors of the icing for the bat, there was agreement about the pumpkin cookies.  They would be orange.

We began the rolling process for several dozen sand tart cookies.  Owen worked earnestly beginning to roll out the dough.  He took that task seriously.

Then off to cutting the bat and pumpkin cookies.

Then the icing began.  I asked them about what the cookies thought about the issue of appropriate colors for the icing.  I told Jack and Owen that I just heard one of the bats mention its choice.  Nevertheless, Jack didn't buy into the notion of a talking cookie.  I assured him that I heard what color icing the bat wanted.  Jack dismissed it as being impossible.  His reasoning was the same as when I told him about the Tibetan cabinet in my home talking to me.  "It doesn't have a mouth.  It can't talk." Therefore, I didn't push what the bat suggested and told the bat not to say anything more. 

Owen tests the blue icing on his pumpkin even though they agreed to use orange, like Jack was doing. 

Then Owen tastes the blue icing to make sure it is what he expected. 

Now, they went back to the icing of the bats.

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After a long labor of making cookies, Owen needed to devour a bat.

It is interesting to me as a 72-year old grandfather that I began this article about a cute misunderstanding that Owen had about what we were going to do on one of my visits.  We were not going to bake cookies for me but for him and his family. 

Nonetheless, I end this essay attempting to comprehend more fully my relationship to especially Jack and Owen.  I understand that part of my interest in them is because they are beginning their journey down the yellow brick road of their lives.  My oldest granddaughter, Ayanna, is 20 and halfway through college, my three children are educated, have jobs, and also have experienced much of their journey through life.  However, Jack and Owen are just beginning. 

I understand that, but why is it such an emotional issue for me?  That question haunts me.  I have spent decades on my journey down my yellow brick road.  I cannot understand all that is wrapped up within my relationship with them.  I love my adult granddaughter and my children, but Jack and Owen are different. 

I have wrestled with this question since the first time that I picked up Jack just after his birth and have continued with Owen.  I just cannot fathom all the various reasons that makes them a different emotional experience for me.  A big part is due to their excitement about life.  In time, children grow up into adulthood and view life as less exciting and more of a mere routine.  However, I have danced with death a couple of times, and I have reasons for being excited about life again, which is one of the blessings of near death experiences.  Trust me.

Therefore, Jack, Owen, and I are excited during our visits.  They cannot imagine all that lies ahead of them, but I can imagine my limited time that lies ahead of me.  I revel in their lives and in my life.  They have a lifetime to enjoy life.  I have a lot less time.  Nevertheless, I do enjoy every moment of it.     

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Visit the "Campbell's Cooking Class" page to read more about this topic.