Today, the kids think I am the greatest mother in the world. At breakfast time, they asked for hot cocoa and I said yes.
“Hooray!” They shouted and danced with glee. “Mama’s making cocoa!”
I pulled out my mother’s recipe and headed for the kitchen while they hopped with excitement. What they don’t know is that I actually like making my mother’s hot cocoa recipe. I enjoy standing at the stove stirring the chocolate together with the milk and breathing that deliciously familiar smell.
For just a moment, I am 7 years old again, soaked and frozen to the core from an afternoon of sledding. When we came inside, Mom used to make a batch of cocoa in her giant spaghetti pot and serve it to us in steaming mugs around the kitchen table. We were exhausted from our outdoor play but warm and cozy in our dry clothes. We gripped the warm mugs with frozen fingers as the sweet drink filled our bellies and warmed us from the inside out.
I remember lots of things about those winter afternoons, but I don’t remember Mom ever complaining about the wet snowsuits, extra laundry, or slushy boots that I now know must have been a part of that scene. Mom surely had enough work to keep her busy in the kitchen just with feeding the nine of us 3 times a day, but I don’t remember her ever saying that hot cocoa would spoil our dinner or that she didn’t want to have to wash another pot.
As a grownup, I’ve had those little packages of instant cocoa, but they can’t match the real thing– hot cocoa stirred up in a big pot on the stove, ladled into mugs, and served to eager little people gathered at the kitchen table.
Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to be the greatest mother in the world.