Later is right now

When you are a child, the worst thing a parent can tell you is “Maybe later.”

“Mom, will you play tea party with me?”

“Maybe later.”

“Dad, want to play Monopoly?”

“Maybe later.”

This popped into my mind as my kids asked me if we could bake Christmas cookies last week. Their homework wasn’t finished, and I had less than two hours to fold laundry, unload the dishwasher and make dinner before running to a meeting.

“Maybe later.”

I forgot about this incident until a few days later when I asked the kids if they wanted to pop popcorn and play a game.

My son said, “No, thank you.” My daughter gave me a sympathetic smile.

“Maybe later.”

My kids are growing up fast. Now ages 13 and 11, I find them pulling away from me a little more each day. Even this holiday season, I’ve noticed activities and traditions they once loved ignored.

I can’t explain how much I wish I’d said yes when they asked to bake cookies. The laundry could have waited. The kids could have done their homework while the cookies baked. I can always play catch up with the housework; my kids will only be this age at this time once.

I left the office early the other day. I stopped by the grocery story, bought a few items and was waiting when the kids got off the bus.

“Are you working from home?” they asked.

“Nope. We’re baking cookies.”


  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 6-oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, cocoa powder and sugar; beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.

In a medium-sized bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix in the wet ingredients, then stir in the chips. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 12 minutes. Makes 25 to 35 cookies.

Recipe courtesy of Family Fun’s Cookies for Christmas by Deanna F. Cook


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