I read once that there comes a day in every mother’s life when she will put her child down and never pick them up again. I won’t know it at the time, but someday it will happen to me as well. My little guy is still small, and I am strong, so that day will not come for years, but I think about it often with dread.
So, when he will allow me, I pick him up and cradle him like a baby to smother him in kisses just because I still can.
Although he was never a clingy baby, I carried him everywhere I went. Although he was happy to sleep alone in his crib, I used to have him nap on my chest just so I could rest my hand on his tiny back and feel the rhythm of his breath. I preferred him on my hip long after he was able to walk, and I hovered behind him on the playground long after it was necessary. It was always me who was the clingy one. I still am.
This week I said goodbye to his babyhood and took him to his first day of preschool. After interviews and deliberation, I selected a small school with an experienced teacher and a promising lesson plan.
He is independent and brave and ready for the next phase of his life, but I can’t help but see my helpless baby when he glances over his shoulder to wave goodbye at drop-off. I wish his babyhood could have lasted forever, but I cannot justify holding him on my hip any longer. I must let him walk on his own no matter how much it hurts to see him walk away from me.
I won’t be serving him his lunches and snacks anymore, but I will be packing them for him each day, and that gives me comfort. When he sits down to eat, he will have his favorites from home on his plate, and a note on his napkin reminding him that his mama loves him more than anything else in this world.
Just like his daddy, my boy loves his cheesy crackers. Rather than just pouring them from a box, I decided to try my hand at making them from scratch, and they are shockingly easy.
These little cheesy snacks taste much better than store-bought, and don’t come with any dyes or preservatives like the ones from the red box.
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons cold butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
About 3 tablespoons cold water
In the bowl of your food processor combine the flour, salt, cheese, butter and garlic powder.
Process until crumbly.
Drizzle in 2 tablespoons water and process. Check the consistency: It should hold a shape when squeezed. Add water as necessary until it does.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
Divide into three portions and keep the portions wrapped until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll each portion out as thin as you possibly can. The crackers puff considerably when baked, so if you want a crispy cracker, you need to roll it paper thin. **Not knowing how much it would rise, I rolled mine as thick as a finished cheese cracker, and the result was a snack about half-an-inch thick. **
Cut the edges until you have a rectangle, then cut into about 1-inch squares. Use a chopstick or skewer to poke a hole in the center of each one. You can use a ruler if you wish, I didn’t bother. Combine and roll the scraps until you have used all the dough.
Lay the squares out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container. If you store them when they are still warm, there will be condensation and the crackers will get soggy.