Earlier last week, I was working with a list of requested recipes: our kale salad, black bean and corn dip, and a chocolate chia breakfast cake. I was stocking up the fridge with plenty of fresh fruit.

And don’t forget the frozen fruit, along with Trader Joe’s treats.

Some of my daughters’ most ardent expressions of love for me occur when they see I’m in the process of making some favorite food item. And it’s always a mini-celebration on a grocery day, when they open up the fridge and pantry and gaze at the possibilities.

And I was preparing for a big day: J’s return from Italy after being away from home since late August! She was flying into Boston, so I packed a little bag of extras for the ride home, including some excellent cherries and water bottles.

This is reminiscent of what I used to do when the girls were growing up: especially the water! I always brought water, everywhere. I am like the Queen of Hydration. Cute W had this running joke that I had the girls “addicted to water.” Once the two of them went with him on a quick trip to Lowe’s and they were practically still in the driveway when one of them requested a drink of water from their booster seat. So: yes. J has survived and entirely avoided dehydration for ten months without my help. But you know what? She gave a little squeal of joy when she saw that I had icy water and a container of cherries to snack on after her flight.

Also when the girls were little, some of the most ardent expressions of love I received were while I was in the process of cooking (or baking) something they loved to eat. Did it feel cheap and self-serving instead of deeply heartfelt and sincere? Maybe, but I’ll take it!

I also started this silly call-and-response tradition, in which I said something along the lines of, “Do you know why I’m making [whatever]?” And they’d say, “Why?” And the answer was always, “Because I love you!” until they got old enough to always know the answer.

This morning, I picked up some Outshine popsicles at the grocery store because I know J likes them and, as you may have noticed, it’s hot. When she saw them she said, “Yay! Wait, did I ask for those?” No, I told her. “Well, I was just thinking about how I wanted them. It’s like you’re psychic!” Internally, I took a small Best Mom Ever bow, and then, of course, I said “Well, you know why I got them, right?”

“Because you love me!”


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