"Cookie" was one of my daughter's first words. She learned it at Christmas time, right after her first birthday.
She helped shake the colored sugar on a few cookies that year, and liked to keep me company in the kitchen while I baked. Maybe because she scored a few cookies in the process.
Just weeks after she learned this most important of words, my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes.
I remember cookies being foremost on my mind as the childrens' hospital staff confirmed the diagnosis of diabetes on that December day. We were facing a new life of finger pricking, injections, and constant vigilance, but a little piece of my worried and tired brain was elsewhere. What about the "cookies?"
Cookies are a huge piece of my family's Christmas tradition. We usually make at least 6 varieties each year, both for ourselves and to give to family and friends. I stood in that hospital room wondering if I'd ever get to share that treasured tradition with my only child.
Most of you already know this story has a happy ending. Cookies, with their carbohydrates well counted, are a perfectly legitimate treat. In fact, milk and cookies has been my daughter's bedtime snack choice since her days in the hospital, nearly 10 years ago.
By the following Christmas, each of my Christmas cookie recipe cards had the carbohydrate counts noted on them. This year, I'm finding I even remember most of them without looking.
My daughter has been in the kitchen with me this week, baking and decorating. Friday, her best friend will come over for a ginger bread cookie decorating marathon, a tradition I shared with my best friend when I was her age. Each evening she samples one or two of our creations, and enjoys every bite.
With everything that changed with diabetes' arrival on the scene, the cookie tradition is one I'm certainly glad we could hold on to.