He came home from work with a blue paper plate of chocolate chip cookies. The kids greeted Daddy with a hug and their eyes got big as they took in the dessert. We would save it in the cupboard until suppertime.
I returned to washing dishes and the kids returned to playing legos in their room. My belly kept bumping against the edge of the sink, thirty-nine and a half weeks pregnant as I was. Rinsing the dishes, my mind hearkened to the blue plate in the cabinet on the other side of the kitchen. I could eat my cookie now. The kids wouldn’t know, and the craving was coming on strong.
Glancing around the room, I saw that it was a good moment to savor that cookie. In my mouth the chocolate was chunky and the texture chewy. I felt baby kick in appreciation.
Brushing the crumbs off my lips, I returned to the task at hand while my thoughts kept returning to the cookies. Would the kids remember they were there? Did they really need the sugar? Hadn’t my husband probably eaten one or two already at work, bringing home the leftovers?
So I ate another. And another. Until there were just crumbs, which also went the way of the cookies.
We shared a quick supper and I left the family with some zippy clementines and thankfully, no memory of cookies, before slipping out the door for a last-hurrah-before-newborn-baby pedicure with my friend, Lolo.
Soaking my feet in some nice hot water, admiring the rainbow colored nail polishes we had to choose from, laughing with Lolo, I barely heard my phone ting with a text message. “Honey,” it said, “Did the cookies I brought home get eaten up?” Smiley face.
I looked at Lolo and hid my eyes, snickering at my own humiliation. What could I do? My husband was home, relieved to finally have the kids tucked in and quiet, ready to collapse into the couch for fifteen minutes of watching Spanish soccer videos on his phone while tucking into some chewy chocolate chip cookies–before hitting the dish duty. And I was soaking my feet at the spa.
I ignored the message. It would be easier to appear with a box of replacement cookies in person than to say sorry while he was still suffering the loss. I returned to the good conversation and the relaxing pedicure, enjoying the pampering before the weeks of newborn-baby that were to come.
On my way home, I popped into Harding’s and bought a dozen more cookies…of course, hubby was in bed already with teeth brushed when I got home. So I shoved the sweet offering into the kitchen cabinet.
The next morning the kids were looking forward to a special breakfast—Lolo’s recipe: cooked oatmeal garnished with bananas, coconut oil, peanut butter, and sprinkled with chocolate chips. The bowls were all prepared when I went to the freezer to find the finishing ingredient: chocolate chips.
They weren’t there.
They weren’t anywhere.
“Honey?” I said. “Have you seen the chocolate chips?”
My husband was quiet. He raised a placid expression to my eyes and said, “Sorry, Mommy, but the cookies were gone.”
It took a few seconds for the kids to catch on to the fact that there would be no chocolate. But when they did, there were tears. It had been an unusual treat to look forward to, and the disappointment was proportionate.
I looked at the kids, looked at my husband.
At that moment, baby kicked inside my belly and I remembered the cookies I had bought last night.
“Oh! I have an idea!” I said, taking the gracious Harding’s cookies and crushing them on top of their hot oatmeal.
Tears disappeared as the mama and the papa exchanged small, knowing smiles. Enough chocolate to go around. Grace all around.