It was a sweet day.
It wasn't the taste, although they were delicious, indeed.
It wasn't the bakery-like appearance, although they had character, indeed.
It was the memories we made.
It was the little apron she wears when she bakes with me. It was the serious tone in my daughter's voice as she explained to her little brother, as if part of an initiation process, that licking the beater was the best part. It was the joy on his face as he discovered this to be true. It was the extra hugs I got, the extra "I love you"s, the sheer delight in their squeals. It was seeing him covered with flour, and training myself not to care. It was the precious, rare quiet time spent alone with her, while the babies were still sleeping, praising her for excessive sprinkles. It was the "I love baking. I love baking with you" that she told me with a sparkle in her eye. It was the proud way she wanted to tell everyone what she'd made, offering them a sample with complete confidence that they would love it.
There's just something about devoting the better part of a December day to baking Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with your kids that makes you feel like a good mom. Not a good nutritionist, and certainly not a good housekeeper, but a good mom.
And I like that feeling. I really like that feeling.