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Grandma's Bumper Crop
By James D Sutton

I've always been fascinated how the best and longest-lasting lessons we learn in life, the lessons we want to pass on to our children, generally occur while we are doing something else. But that makes sense, doesn't it? Life isn't a dress rehearsal and there's never a time-outs. School is ALWAYS in session.

A Good Heart

My mother's mother grew up on the Kansas prairie in the late 1800s. Life then was difficult; sickness, disease and complicated childbirth claimed many lives way before their time.

Grandma was always the sick kid in her family. Yet, despite her delicate heath, she outlived every one of her brothers and sisters. I believe her longevity was due to a good heart.

It was certainly a GENEROUS heart.

Grandma came to spend the better part of a week with me when I was a young boy. I'm not sure why she came for the week, but I believe it was because my mother joined my father on a business trip. It was just me and Grandma. (It didn't hurt that I was the first grandkid on that side of the family, a status I enjoyed until my sister came along.) We had fun and lots of great food, but mostly we shared a closeness that, even today, I can't quite put into words.

A Cookie Problem

One day Grandma put on her apron and announced she was going to make sugar cookies.

"They're my favorite!" I shouted. "Please make a bunch of 'em, Grandma?" She did, quadrupling the already generous recipe.

We quickly realized we had a problem. Cookies began coming out of the oven faster than I could find things to put them in. I ran frantically about the house grabbing every plate, jar, can and box I thought would hold a few cookies.

The house overflowed with Grandma's laughter as I scurried around to find one more thing that we could stuff with cookies before the next batch was ready. The "Cookie Story" became one of her favorites, and she loved telling it whenever my folks, my aunts and uncles and their families would gather at her house at summer vacation and Christmas.

A Bounty Shared

As much as I dearly loved Grandma's sugar cookies, we had more cookies than we could possibly eat; a LOT more. So Grandma grabbed her scarf and we spent the rest of the afternoon delivering fresh-baked cookies to all the neighbors.

Grandma taught me many things that week and in the weeks and years that followed. But one of the greatest things my grandmother ever taught me was that indelible lesson in sharing.

And she taught it with cookies.

A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is the author of The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh Approach to the Difficult Child. He is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, www.DocSpeak.comArticle Source: Grandma's Bumper Crop



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