Growing up, I don’t remember my parents placing much importance on showing appreciation even though saying please and thank you was drilled into us so our in-the-moment-manners were outstanding. I know my Mom used to tell me I should write a Thank You card to my Grandma after spending March Break with her in Florida, but I ever don’t remember doing it. It’s possible that she used to do it on my behalf and I didn’t realize it. The problem is that it took me a looooong time to learn that it was something I needed to do in my personal and professional life and I’m still working on it because showing appreciation doesn’t come naturally to me. Now, as a mother, I want to make sure my children don’t miss this important interpersonal skill so I involve them as much as I can when I’m doing it myself.
As I mentioned in my last post, my husband has been away for the last month. We have amazing friends who dropped off dinners, picked up my kiddos for regular play dates, and even gave me a girls’ night out by taking care of all three munchkins on a Friday night. I am beyond grateful for everything they’ve done and wanted to make sure they knew it. On Wednesday night I thought it would be nice to bake a batch of our favourite cookies and drop them off with a copy of the recipe and Thank You notes the next day.
While the kids helped me measure ingredients, man the mixer and put dough on cookie sheets, we talked about what we were doing and why it was important. Then I wrote the cards and had them sign their names. As they get older we’ll talk more about how being kind and generous to others is done without expectation or strings attached.
I know they’re young and the full concept of showing appreciation is elusive because thinking about other people, their feelings and their needs requires a certain level of emotional maturity, but I think what matters most is that they see it in action and hopefully it won’t take them 20+ years to figure it out like I did!
BTW – these cookies are crazy amazing. Here’s the recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups (1-1/2 sticks) butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup veg oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
1-1/2 cups chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl. In a separate 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies to cool.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.