49: Momma’s Christmas Cookies

49: Momma’s Christmas Cookies

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, with Love

Momma’s Christmas Cookies

What was silent in the father speaks in the son, and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

Because I am the smartest man alive, I lived in my parents’ basement until I was twenty-six years old. While I was still in school, my father and I would spend several hours each night hanging out in the basement spending time with one another. I was usually studying or reading something while he was on the computer playing games or checking e-mails.

One day during the holiday season my mother informed us that she was making a batch of cookies for work. She wanted to know if we would be her test-dummies. Yeah! Who would pass that up? However, my father, Tim, and I were quickly disappointed when she came downstairs with only one cookie for the both of us. After we begged and earnestly explained that half a cookie was not the appropriate size to adequately determine whether or not a cookie should enter a competition, my mother informed us that she only made twelve. This cookie meant she was going to work with eleven. Okay! We would share one.

To say that the spicy-gumball-gingerbread-cookie was the worst thing I had ever eaten would be an understatement. It was terrible. After forcing myself to swallow, I saw my dad equally devastated by how terrible the cookie had turned out.

“We have to tell her,” Timbo informed me.

“Heck, no! I’m not tellin’ her.”

“Son, we have to. She will be so upset if she hears it at work.”

“She is your wife; you tell her.”

“She’s your mother; you tell her.”

“Not by choice!”

Ha! This was my go-to move. I always resorted to that — I didn’t choose my mother, but my father chose his wife. And I won!

If only the dog could tell her. She never got mad at the dog.

Later that night my lovely parents went out for dinner without me. This was normal, as my father believed that putting a roof over my head was more than enough to fulfill his fatherly duties. While they were at dinner, I decided to take a break from studying in order to play some video games.

During my game, I heard a loud thud from upstairs that sounded very similar to a cooking stone slamming against a kitchen floor. I didn’t think too much of it — at least not until I was at a good stopping point in my game. Then I proceeded upstairs to investigate.

At that time, we only had one dog. Her name is Laci, and she is a Border Collie and Lab mix that we rescued in 2004. Laci is a great dog! But like all dogs, she won’t turn down an opportunity to eat people-food. At least, that’s what I thought.

I looked down at the kitchen floor to see the cooking stone just as I expected. But what I also saw were ten little spicy-gumball-gingerbread-cookies. Mind you, this was at least fifteen minutes from the time I heard the thud, so Laci had more than enough time to stuff her little face.

“Man,” I said aloud. “Even the dog won’t eat them.”

My mother’s potential humiliation factor went from a batch of bad cookies that some people might not like, to a batch of bad cookies that even a dog would not eat. But the fact that a dog wouldn’t eat her cookies puts her in an elite group. I mean — how many people do you know who have made something that even a dog will refuse to eat? I know one — my mother — and I couldn’t wait to tell her.

~Kevin J. Kraemer

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