Original sin

One of these packages of Sponge Toffee was handed to me today and it took me back to a time when I thought I was innocent. I recalled my original sin, stealing one of these from a variety store. Another young girl from the new school had challenged me to do it, and I was stupid enough to follow her lead.

I was telling this story to our volunteer food bank lady at our homeless shelter today when the truth dawned on me. This was not my original sin at all! Nope, I was only 5 when I broke into a neighbours house to steal the cookies in her beautiful cookie jar. Instead I found a fist full of money! More dollars and coins than made any sense to me. In her kitchen cupboards I finally located a box of store bought cookies. I was disappointed as my mom, when finances allowed her to access the ingredients, baked sweet confections for her babes.

I had gone home and sat in a kitchen chair gobbling up the store bought cookies. My mom came into the room and snatched the box of treats out of my hand. “Where did you get these?” She demanded, and I obediently told her about the break in, the cookies I found in the cupboard and my final accomplishment of the acquisition of much needed funds.

My mom was in shock and took the money from me. She scolded me that I was a criminal and she was ashamed of me. Hearing that broke the little tiny heart in my chest. I thought I’d never recover from such a scolding.

Many years later, as a woman in my 30’s and a mom myself, I told my mom how I remembered when I stole the neighbours money. My mom laughed and said, “You don’t know the half of it. I couldn’t very well tell the lady one of my kids was a burglar so I kept the money and never said a word.”

I laughed so hard I almost peed. My poor mom, so mortified by the actions of one of her little brats that she was forced to become a partner in the crime! I asked if she recalled what she did with the money. Mom told me, “Well, I probably spent it on groceries!” I mused on this for a moment and said, “Perhaps you bought the ingredients to bake your own fantastic cookies!” Mom said, “You remember my baking?” I smiled at her and answered her, “I remember much more. Do your recall how you made us chicken and dumplings every Sunday after church?”

My mom nodded her head, her eyes glistening with tears. She said, “I would never have thought you kids would have remembered my cooking. You were taken away from me when you were all so young.” I said, “Us kids never forgot the love you put into the meals you made for us. The three oldest of us have talked often about our memories of the food you placed before us.”

Love is like that, isn’t it?