When we go back to Manitoba to visit my husband’s family, his mother always has some of his favorite treats home-baked and stored in the freezer, ready to be pulled out and set out on a tiny plate next to a tea cozy. As all moms seem to do, my mother-in-law shows her love, at least in part, through food. Draw any metaphors to mothering and nourishment that you want, but I most appreciate her very sugary, very fatty, very sweet, very delicious treats. We’ll call it nourishment for the soul, detriment to the waistline.
Amongst all these ‘dainties’ (no really, this is a word used to describe cookies/bars) Dave most loves his mint squares. He eats them by the dozen when he has them, talks about them bi-weekly when he doesn’t. So when my mother-in-law came to visit us (read: to visit the baby) this week, he playfully quipped ‘She better make me some mint squares, or else we’re sending her back!’ He made this ‘joke’ with the most serious face you’ve ever seen. Luckily, with some kind of mother-son psychic connection, she came equipped with the necessary yet apparently hard to procure mint-chocolate chips packed in her luggage. For real.
She made the mint squares on her first day here. The rest of the week was really lovely. We spent time playing with the baby, walking with the dogs, shopping for this baby and so many others, eating, andcatching up. We drank tea and wine and sat in the sun and read books. And I got to take a bath EVERY DAY and took two naps WITHOUT a baby attached to my breast and got TWO massages and went to yoga and for a run and over to a friend’s house for drinks without out baby! (Sidenote: In the interest of full disclosure, our friends live less than 100 yards away, but STILL! Baby steps, right!?) It was lovely.
All week long, Dave nibbled on the mint squares. He kept a careful inventory. ‘I’m almost to the SECOND layer of waxed paper!’ ‘Someone stop me before I eat three!’ His mom shook her head and said ‘They aren’t even that good, you only miss them because you don’t get them often enough!’ Dave said ‘They are delicious! So minty! So cholately! I miss them every day!’
I listened and watched and could have cried. Because what they were really saying is: ‘David, I’d make you these mint squares every week if you lived closer to me!’ and ‘I miss you mom, and the mint squares make me feel less sad when we’re apart!’
When a visit with someone we love ends, a sadness tends to follow. A sort of hangover from the high of having them nearby. That cloud is lingering in the days following my mother-in-law’s departure, but at least we have the perfect, minty, chocolately, hangover cure.