Oftentimes when I cook or bake, I can't help but be thankful for my mom. Because she taught me how to pull odd things together out of what was on hand, my family has been enjoying a yummy Tex-Mex chicken soup this week. No recipe, just the nudge of hungry bellies and thoughts of chicken and cumin. It might not be something she would make, but the skills are something she gave me.
As I rolled a bag of banana chips with a rolling pin in order to crush them, I was again thankful for my mom. She taught me that rolling pin trick, and it often saves me from having to spend time chopping things, or washing lots of food processor parts. Tonight, it saved me from having to make a lot of noise with gadgets that might have woken sleeping kids. From my mom, I learned how to make-do with what I have.
Mixing up a new-to-me recipe for banana bread, I thought about all the times I made banana bread with my mom... and how many times my children have made it with her. I know too many people whose mothers didn't care to spend the time with them to teach them their own way around a kitchen. I know too many people who do not have good relationships with their mothers now. I know too many people who are unable to be with their mothers, even if they want to, whether by death, hardship, or distance. I am thankful for this time we have lived near my parents, because I have gotten to spend valuable time with my mom - even if it's just sitting and chatting about idle things. My children have developed a deeper relationship with her because of this nearness, as well. I believe this is something they will be immensely grateful for as adults.
My mom is not perfect, and she was not the perfect mother when I was growing up. She will be the first to admit to it. However, she was and is there for me when I need her, and she is the mother God wanted for me. She put her heart and soul into mothering me, and I am thankful to still see that effort when I watch her with my children.