When I was in college I was talking with my friend Bets. I have no idea WHY we were talking about what we were talking about, but the topic eventually got around to her mother. She confided in me that the smell of her mother's hands was always comforting to her...they always smelled like onions...her mother was always cooking good food for the family and her hands carried that sweet aroma of her love for them. (I'm almost 100% certain Bets did NOT say it like that, but that is how I understood it.)
Now, MY mother always cooked for her family too, until we were old enough to evict her from the kitchen...I was 13. My own memories of my mother's cooking are not pleasant...she is NOT a good cook. Why? Well, because she does not love cooking. She did not express her love for us through delicious food. Her expressions of love came in the form of dresses, carefully stitched and embroidered for her girls, and sweaters and scarves knitted for all of the family. Yes, she cooked, but is was not HER expression.
So, when Bets told me about her mother's onion scented hands, I guess it just stuck in my brain. Years later, when I started my own family, I cooked for them and loved doing it. I always wondered, as I tucked my kids into bed, and when I hugged them as the left the house....wondered if they thought about it like Bets did.... But I seriously doubt THEY have told their friends that my hands always had that comforting smell of onions!
Another of my friends, Dottie, told me of the time her older brother told her to put her fingers in the socket where the light bulb went...he then turned on the light and burned her fingers in the process.... I never forgot that story and was diligent about making sure I knew where my kids were and what they were doing...I was NOT planning to let my son's curiosity result in his sister's fingers being permanently scarred.
Of course, I had my own memories from childhood...those things that I felt were SO important to my personal development, such as my mother's reading to us at night, sitting on the stool in the hallway with all of the doors to the bedrooms where her six children lay in bed....reading us books, a chapter a night, followed by a reading from the Bible....and my father's singing with all of the kids, all of us sitting in the "boys" room in the dark so we didn't giggle and goof around, but would really sing with him. The singing was something that was a natural for me while the reading aloud to my own children was not so much. Still they are both avid readers and singers...both love to cook and NOBODY ended up with scarred fingers from impersonating a light bulb....
See what I mean? It's the "little things" that were important!
Judy with onion from the garden.............
Joe with Mammoth Sunflower
Judy with same sunflower
Judy's Home-Styled "physical therapy"
So.... my kids are grown and I am still cooking and still singing....reading...not so much. And I wonder what THESE kids would have to say, if they could talk!