As my eldest son spends his last days at home before departing for college, a chapter in my family life is rapidly drawing to a close. In these bittersweet times, just as the years have carried me through his life, my emotions ebb and flow as I recollect the days gone by. Within my thoughts, the milestones are not just marked with significant moments in our lives but with certain foods and meals prepared — the days making and feeding my baby homemade pear sauce and carrot puree; perfecting pocket foods like empanadas for his on-the-go meals to and from gymnastics; and making birthday feasts for he and his friends. I have thoroughly relished the years in which I’ve fueled my son (and his friends!) with healthy (and maybe not-so-healthy) foods throughout his fast journey through childhood.
And as the countdown accelerates (three days) and the miles will soon separate us, I am left to ponder how I will continue to infuse my son with love through food. And not just with welcome home dinners on the occasional weekend visit, but how I can ingratiate my life with his while he studies and lives a few hundred miles away. For starters, I am determined to make him the best care packages, filled with homemade treats to share with roommates and floor mates. It is with each loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, dozen of cookies and batch of granola which will continue to connect me to my far away son. It’s one way I can lessen the tears while ensuring that our connection stays strong.