Since time immemorial, mothers have welcomed a visit from their grown children. I was only 9 years old, but I remember my mother’s excitement when her two eldest came home to Michigan for Christmas. It was during the depression and we had moved from Illinois and left them both behind. Each were graduated from college, but both worked at the Wurlitzer Piano Factory. (When you had a job, then, you kept it and were glad to have one.)
It was the first time our family had broken up and she missed them deeply. She had baked and prepared for their coming for many weeks. All of their favorite dishes: Swedish Limpa bread, Swedish Coffee Bread, Peppeeracawker ( I can’t spell Swedish) a kind of ginger cookie, and Spritz, a butter cookie. Even the good old fruit cake.
Why is it that when we moms have grown children coming to visit, the first thing we do is get their favorite foods ready to go the minute they get there? I know I do. My eldest son is visiting and I was thinking about it as I made his favorite dinner—good ole roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and a lemon meringue pie. I smiled as I remembered an incident that happened not too long ago.
My daughter had been home for a few weeks one summer and my eldest son flew in to visit also. He and I were in the kitchen making my his favorite lemon pie when my daughter walked in, saw what I was doing and said, “Oh, SURE!"
It was such a delightful déjà vu moment, her reaching back to a sibling rivalry and especially funny after I showed her that her favorite butterscotch pie was already in the oven. And these “kids” were in their 40’s!
So is food our foremost way of showing how much we love them and how much we miss them?
But my biggest question is this? Do they come home and are glad just to see us and be with us , or do they come to gather up some of their childhood by eating their favorite foods?