My son texted me the other day asking for my meatball recipe. It’s a rarity that he texts me for recipes, so I was thrilled to my toes. About a week later, my daughter texted me asking for my fresh pumpkin pie recipe. Again, joy spread through my body as I thought to myself, “Finally.”
See, I’ve been waiting for the day my children discovered the joy of cooking and baking. It had gotten to the point where I was questioning if it would ever happen. Would all of my recipes die with me? Would my last words on this earth be, “I love you, children. And why didn’t you want my Alfredo recipe?”
So, I texted my son back with the ingredients and instructions. I hit “send” and immediately thought, “Why did I text this? He’s going to lose track of this text and ask for this recipe again the next time he makes it.”
I texted my daughter back. I gave her tips for baking her pie and exactly how many spices to include for the perfect balance of flavor. I hit “send” and, again, thought, “She’s going to lose this text and ask me again next year.”
So with preserving family recipes in mind, I purchased two recipe boxes for my children and I am handwriting each recipe card with “Mom’s recipes.” Hey, stuff with MY mom’s handwriting on it is as precious as gold, so I know one day, they will treasure not just the recipe, but the handwriting itself.
See, they don’t realize it yet, but these recipes will increase with value the older they get. And the older I get.
They don’t realize it yet, but without these handwritten recipes, they won’t know how finely to grind the nuts for Czech Nut Roll, or what kind of apples I always used for my applesauce.
They don’t realize it yet, but these recipe cards will become a lifeline to the past; a way to hold on to and remember their mom.
Yes, they are young and they don’t realize any of this yet… but I do. And that is why I am making sure I am leaving them something they can hold in their hands; tangible reminders of home and family and childhood.
And these are just recipes. Imagine how much more important the faces of those they love will become when those faces are no more. Applesauce and meatloaf pale in comparison.
Now, tell me again why you aren’t leaving your children printed photographs?
About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her website, Tumblr, and Facebook. This article was also published here.