One minute I'm standing in my kitchen handing my daughter warm, just out of the oven Snickerdoodles, and then next thing I know, 20+ years of snowy winter weather and happy memories flood my brain. In that second, the spirit of giving smacked me square on the forehead.
Ever since her first snowstorm, my daughter has associated hot cocoa with snow fall. Forget bread, milk, and toilet paper! Around here, there must be cocoa. It can be painstakingly made from scratch, or from a packet. It doesn't matter - only that there is cocoa. Marshmallows are a must, whipped cream a bonus. Sometimes we've swirled a candy cane in there, and she's tried just about every kind of addition you can imagine. It always comes back to cocoa and marshmallow. A snowstorm without cocoa is just unthinkable.
Yesterday she was stuck working at the mall while the snow started falling. We live on the far side of two very steep S-turns several miles back a country road. I fretted during the day (will this ever end?) and made some soup to have ready when she got home. The relief when she made it home was great. All was well, cozy and safe. After dinner she went to her room to work on a project, and I headed to the kitchen to whip up some of her favorite cookies.
As they came out of the oven, I called to her to hurry and get herself some cocoa. That moment... when she walked into the kitchen and saw the cookies (I'm no Betty Crocker - this is a rarity) was when it hit me. In a flash, I saw her at 2 years old, standing at the door in her little snowsuit covered with icy snow... at 3, when on her birthday, her gifts and goodies were in the trunk of the car encased in 2" of ice (and she insisted that we make party hats from newspaper)...
Sometimes I think about all the mistakes I made along the way. Just for that one moment, I felt like maybe I got something perfectly, beautifully right. Funny how the little things can sneak up on you and feel like a tsunami.