Confession time: I want this site to be great. I want it to be meaningful, but also real, and fun. This past week, I let my excitement get ahead of me, and my daughter paid the price.
I scheduled a “cooking with kids” post for a few weeks before Easter. It was going to be a step-by-step recipe for resurrection cookies, an activity to do with your kids before heading out to Easter Vigil. We used to make these as a kid and I loved them! As you add each ingredient, you read a corresponding verse from the passion narrative. It’s like a cookie version of the stations of the cross, complete with a hollow, rocky tomb cookie to eat on Easter morning! Amazing, right?
Of course, I wanted to include some great photos along with each step, so before we even started I forced a brush through the tangled rat’s nest of my daughter’s hair. She patiently waited as I took pictures of her completing each step of the recipe. She hardly even protested when I told her the meringue needed to sit in the oven overnight.
We spent all this time making cookies, and I made her wait overnight so that they would yield a perfect picture. My daughter watched as I bit into the first one. “Are they ready, Mommy?” Her eyes were filled with hope and excitement. The promise of sugary bliss loomed near. With a lurch, I realized my mistake: meringue is basically comprised of egg whites and sugar. My daughter is allergic to eggs. When she touches eggs, her skin breaks out in hives.
Meringue turned to guilt in my mouth. Shame filled my stomach. Here I was, eating a cookie in front of my 3-year-old, and I was about to tell her she could not have even a taste of the cookies she had worked hard to mix, waited patiently to eat.
I stand convicted: I fell into one of the classic traps of social media. What we put online is a contrived image of ourselves. We want to put our shiniest foot forward. That’s true of life as well. And there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to put our best selves forward. What I realized in this moment was that I had let it go the other way. Rather than selecting the moments of beauty and goodness from my life to encourage and inspire, I let the image I wanted to project dictate the way I chose to spend my time and the moments I shared with my daughter. With social media, we curate images of our lives to project to the world; I was letting the image I wanted to project curate the moments of my life.
So please, learn from my mistakes. Cookies are for eating. Spend your time building moments with your children that they will remember for the sheer joy of them, not in disappointment. We should never sacrifice our real lives in service of our virtual lives. Not for even a moment.
If you liked the idea of resurrection cookies, go ahead and google it. There are plenty of blogs out there that have already shared it much more beautifully that I would have, anyway.