The Sun and the Wind and the Scent of Lilacs

Made some Oreo Pudding Dessert Saturday and it was not bad. Our youngest is home from college for a week or two, mostly to regroup and gather things for her summer stay on campus and recover from the tonsillectomy she underwent last week. The house is full of “soft foods” like applesauce and yogurt and tapioca and beets and kale (for smoothies, seriously. The dessert I made mostly for a Mother’s Day treat, as we have been good lately about not indulging and it sounded so good and it was.

I woke at 2 a.m. this morning to give our daughter her meds. She was in pain – four days after the procedure – and has been taking painkillers every four hours since. It has meant little sleep for the both of us, and a bit of a challenge getting out of bed in the morning. When Mr. S is around (he is in Arizona until Tuesday giving a talk called “How to Be Positive When Things Are Not”), he often acts as my alarm clock. When he is not, I place the alarm across the room so I have to get up and walk and that often helps. But when I’m worn out, well, I need a strategy. Ideally, I would attach my alarm to one of those Roomba vacuums that travels about the house. Then I would have to get up AND search the house. Couldn’t fail.

We’re seeing the light at the tunnel’s end. She’s feeling better today, and talking more, and swallowing forkfuls of lo mein. The headache has gone away, and some of the swelling, and we got to spend four days together which is a rare and lovely thing. I got to make homemade tapioca and macaroni and cheese for a reason, and we watched a movie or two together (I dozed off) and I got to give her a head and neck rub when things were at their worst. What else could I do?

That’s one thing about being a mother. Your children always are just that –your children; you want, always, to alleviate their pain; you want to feed them and do so well; and when they come home your heart races, and when they drive away, it aches.

Another thing is, once you’re a mother, you are so for all your life. It doesn’t end until you do. (And even then, who knows?) They come and go, and they look for you, and for them it is enough, often, to know you are there.

She’ll be feeling better by Thursday, when she plans to head back to school. And our son? Well, he arrived from Ireland today, where he spent a semester studying and loving stray cats and wandering through castles. And our oldest? Well, it’s because of her and her dear husband that I’ve been smiling now and then in the quiet hours. This time next year, I’ll be a grandma. Not sure how ready I am for THAT, but it ain’t about me. It’s about them, about their life, unfolding and beautiful, and I’m all for it. Just like I’m all for traveling to faraway lands, and spending the summer working at school.

Mother’s Day was – with all the questions about airport pickup times and whether this prescription can cause damage long-term and what is the best lotion to use to combat stretch mark – perfect. I don’t remember much of it, I was so tired. I do remember Mr. S calling and thanking me for who I am (and the bottle of Bailey’s and the card and the massage gift card hidden in the closet). I remember the sun and the wind and the scent of lilacs. I remember eating shredded barbecued pork Mr. S made before he left. And the peanut butter M&Ms my youngest managed to procure. My son’s face during a video chat from Dublin, and my oldest daughter’s gift of lovely mini-roses. Red. And her phone call. All those phone calls, all the flurry on a day when sleep felt especially good. And so did waking around 2 am, and – after meds and a bathroom visit and a glass of mango juice – tucking in that healing young woman and turning out the light. There was silence awhile. And then, her sweet, clear voice in the night: “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.” Oh, and it was. And is. And evermore shall be.

Here’s one for any crowd, any occasion, any time, any place.
Speaks for itself. Give it a whirl.

Oreo Pudding Dessert

1 package regular Oreo cookies (Not Double Stuff) – about 36 cookies
6 Tablespoon butter, melted
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cold milk
12 ounce tub Cool Whip, divided
2 of the 3.9 ounce packages Chocolate Instant Pudding
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. I used my food processor for this, but you could also place them in a large Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreos have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.

Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.

Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.

In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.

Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.



  1. gail in northern California
    May 20, 2017

    Thank you for posting this wonderful recap of an exhausting but fulfilling Mother’s Day. It had all the hallmarks of still being needed and that’s a lovely thing. I remember years ago you wrote about the joy of seeing tiny wet footprints still visible on the bathmat. How lovely that you will see history repeated with the new grand-baby. Please keep writing.

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