Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

January 25, 2009

Grandma's Kitchen: A daughter's admiration


I got married, moved away and, within the first year of marriage, I switched from wife to mother. I suddenly had this beautiful, dependent, trusting baby that relied on me. I finally knew my purpose in life was much simpler (?) than I anticipated. My calling was to be a mom. Three years after Nolan was born, Emma came into our lives to double the happiness. I had the perfect peaceful balance in my world. Then the clock sped up, and I have two kids in high school.

I have crossed into my 40s, and have two teenagers. The easy part is behind us as we learn to face their independence with all the frustration it brings. There's tenderness an the arguments that rotate through our days like a cyclone. They have finished cutting their teeth and now they are trying to cut the cord. I want to hang onto their childhood kicking and screaming.

But I have learned to smile and make fried potatoes.

I don't ground them for barely passing algebra. I let Nolan wear dreadlocks. I show up at the football games to watch Emma cheer.

My mom was 42 when she gave birth to me. Any time I long for my gangly teens to be babies again, I remember the fact that they could actually be babies. And I am quickly grateful that they are not. We have many changes on the horizon, and so I give them what my mom still gives me -- gentle hugs and something to warm their bellies, things to lure them back home. No matter how old we are, or how far life and geography takes us, home is always where our mom is.

We have a new family favorite to indulge in on the weekends. Winter is our favorite time of year to cook and eat. With a busy competitive ski season upon us, anything easy is surely welcomed. Nolan's girlfriend Lauren requested this on her birthday in lieu of cake. Yep, it's that good.

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