When I was a kid, and my mom's life was full of taking my sister and me to swimming lessons, ballet lessons, riding lessons, and story time at the library, there was a grocery store in town with a sit-down bakery section. I think it was an A&P. The store doesn't exist any more, but I have these wonderful memories of my sister and I tagging along on my mom's weekly run for provisions, chattering away as she ticked off each item on the list she held in her hand. If we were good -- and the way I remember it, we always were -- we got to have a treat at the bakery.
My treat of choice was a half-moon cookie, which here in NJ in 2009 seem only to be made a white cake "moon." When I was a kid, I told my mom, the half-moon cookies were made on a dark chocolate base. In my mind they became "dark side of the moon" cookies, an almost mythical, no longer attainable, slice of pure childhood joy.
Now look what my mom had waiting for me when we all went up to visit this past weekend:
Another great part of the weekend was less visible to me, but no less wonderful. Our little man got to spend lots of time with his Grandpa and Nana. With Grandpa, he explored a mysterious gully, created a Jackson Pollock-inspired masterpiece, and worked on getting the trails in good shape. With Nana, he learned to distinguish some of the local birds by sight, and discovered the joys of a toasted peanut butter sandwich. The bedrock of unconditional love that my parents gave to me is now there for Mr. D.