My 11-year-old athlete, Kyle, slowly walked into the kitchen, scratching like a monkey.
"I think I have poison ivy, Mom," he said with his head hanging low. It was miserable enough to be covered from head to toe in pink itchy blisters in mid-July, but what made it even worse was that his traveling basketball team was in their peak of summer activity with one of their largest tournaments a day away.
There wasn't much I could say. His sad face made it obvious that he was aware that it would be impossible for him to play in the tournament.
To some, not being able to play in a recreational basketball tournament might not be a big deal, but for Kyle, basketball is his life.
Since he's been coordinated enough to dribble, he's been in love with the sport. He plays nearly year round, participating in school teams, traveling teams and a random tournament here and there.
So, what's a mom to do?
My instructions to take an anti-itch oatmeal bath and then follow up with cotton balls and calamine lotion didn't seem to be cutting it. Then I had an idea.
"Why don't I make some cookies?"
There's nothing like some of Mom's homemade
treats when you're having
a bad day.
I grabbed my apron and my favorite cookie recipe book and began to hunt for the right cookie. Nothing really grabbed me. I decided instead to try a new recipe and dedicate it to Kyle's poison ivy.
When the cookies came out of the oven, I put some on one of Kyle's favorite childhood plates.
I took them to the living room where he was sprawled watching television and declared, "Kyle's Poison Ivy Cookies," as I presented them to him. "I crossed out the name of the recipe in the cookbook and wrote in 'Kyle's Poison Ivy Cookies' with today's date and a short paragraph about you being covered with poison ivy."
His wide grin made me feel great.
Renaming cookie recipes has now become a tradition in our family. Whenever there's a need, we bake some cookies and write our memories in the same cookbook.
We have "I'm Bored Cookies," our own rendition of Snickerdoodles, and "Celebrate Winter Break Cookies," a twist on the average sugar cookie.
Whatever the occasion, we name a new cookie, and we never fail to read through all the old ones too, reliving the memories we've baked up in years past.
From Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC.