She called. I picked up. She had two bananas ripe for banana bread with no intention of letting them go to waste. I rattled off the necessary ingredients over the phone. In all the transitioning into of her new married home, my daughter hadn’t yet purchased the basic items for her inaugural baking venture. Nor had I gotten around to passing along the torn-edged recipe I had used for banana bread her entire life. It was time. The fact that she wanted to carry on the tradition warmed my heart.
Engaged in my work, I told her I’d have to wait until later that evening to come by. There were a few other things I needed to pass along anyway; her birth certificate, passport, and social security card, all of which I kept securely in a manila envelope in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. As I gathered these important items, I felt a strange awareness that this was yet another step in the cutting of strings.
It seems scissors aren’t just for crafting. From the very beginning, scissors are for parenting.
The umbilical cord…snip, snip. Her first haircut…snip, snip. The permission slip for her first field trip…snip, snip. Countless construction paper projects…snip, snip. Her first sleepover away from home…snip, snip. The eleven inch ponytail she cut and donated to “Locks of Love”…snip, snip. Can you believe she’s driving already?…snip, snip. How grown up she looked in that white dress she made for junior prom…snip, snip. The tags off her purple suitcase, a gift for graduation…snip, snip. She’s engaged!…snip, snip. The ribbon on her bridal shower packages…snip, snip. The sight of a beautiful, young woman twirling around in her wedding dress on fitting day…snip, snip. The stems of her bridal bouquet…snip, snip. The pronouncement of the new Mr. and Mrs. and the moment they pulled away from the curb in the get away car…snip, snip. Picking up her dress and pearl earrings at the hotel with one last chance to say goodbye before the honeymoon…snip, snip. The exhaustion the following day when all was said and done. The reality that this is one trip she won’t be coming home from. Tearing up in the middle of the produce section upon realizing I won’t always have to stock strawberries or Nutella, for that matter…snip, snip.
Strings. Heartstrings. Who knew there would be so many strings attached to my heart?
Loading up her blue bicycle, the yellow rain boots with the little hearts on them, some random remaining art supplies, and a few extra costumes still hanging on a rack in the garage, I set off in our family van, and made the drive out to her house where she will one day nurture a family of her own.
It brought me great pleasure to stop by the grocery store for a big ‘ole tub of Crisco, a bag of all-purpose flour, a dozen eggs, the sugar, baking soda and baking powder, and the most crucial ingredient of all…a bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. Soon, she and her husband would be enjoying the first of many loaves of banana bread she will likely make in the years to come.
Something every mother will eventually do (even the ones who don’t cook, like me!), I sat on the couch in her living room, their living room, and in my neatest handwriting carefully copied down the recipe word for word. I reviewed it with her to test for legibility, explaining nuts are optional. Of course, I always double the recipe to make two loaves, one to keep and one to give away. She mentioned she only had one pan. It’s a start. Perfect for her maiden voyage. With room to grow.
Funny, as I’m writing this, I’m remembering that as we unloaded the van I brought in her jar of crafting scissors, several pairs of different kinds for every possible use. I arranged them next to her paint brushes on top of her white cabinet in the room she has already claimed as her art studio.
With a good husband, supportive friends and family, a belief in a God who loves her, and plenty of scissors, I believe she’ll do just fine. And I’ll be by with that second pan.
As is the case with any newlywed couple, I think of the verse from Ecclesiastes, “If two lie down together, they will keep warm…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” And another familiar verse from the New Testament, “They are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Not even the scissors.
Mid-blog, she just called again. Turns out I forgot to write down how much sugar to use for the banana bread. Oops. 2/3 cup. That and plenty of chocolate chips’ll do just fine.