Sometimes it's the simple things that are the best. The two littlest and I made rice krispie cakes, minus the butter, and using dark chocolate. We made a half-batch - just seven - for their dairy-intolerant friend. They all loved them. Loved them. But I think possibly, even more, my two loved scraping the bowl. This was all that was left after the Little One had set to work. He's a methodical little chap.
It set me thinking about our childhoods and the things we pass on; the things we remember. As parents we worry about the things we can't give our children because of the money or the time we don't have. But we forget that the things that imprint upon them enough to stay through their years on this earth, and then pass on to their own children are the simple things. Often these things are free, or near enough. Often these things are about the connection they have with us or a moment. You don't remember all the expensive details of a holiday you had when very young. You remember playing chase with the waves in the sea. You remember the hours of fun making castles out of random Lego bricks with your brothers rather than the fancy presents you loved and left.
I have made far more interesting, challenging things than rice krispie cakes, but I've made them alone or with much admonishment: "don't touch! wait! okay, one stir -just one - then it's my turn". They'll remember scraping this rice krispie bowl far better. They'll remember the fistfuls of puffed rice sent into the bowl until the scales were right. They'll remember the scattering of rice that missed. Watching intently as the chocolate melted into the butter. They flop of chocolate mess into paper cases. The crunch of matt-sheen chocolate boulders after they had been refrigerated rigid. The laughter at chocolate stains on their faces. The dash to the sink. The quietly proud gift of a left-over cake to their oldest brother.
We scraped every last bit of joy from that bowl.