Today the girl I nanny had a meltdown. We were making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. She had cracked the eggs, poured in the sugar, the flour. the oil, the pumpkin, the chocolate chips. She then crazily dolloped a spoonful onto the cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (easier cleanup). She helped me carry them into the oven. Then I realized I had forgotten the vanilla.
I quickly pulled the cookies out, dumped them back into the bowl, and threw away the parchment paper and added the necessary vanilla extract. I started with a new piece of paper and started dolloping the cookie dough onto it. Isabella had been playing with spilt flour and then walked to the garbage can. She lifted the lid and stuck her head inside. I pulled her away and explained to her that we don’t play with garbage, or stick our heads in the garbage can, anything in the garbage is something we no longer need.
Then her heart broke. She started crying uncontrollably. She started yelling in her recently developed voice, “tookie, tookie!”
I laughed a little realizing she thought I threw away her cookies. I explained to her what happened. How we forgot an ingredient so I put our cookies back in the bowl and added it. I had already spooned the cookies and popped them back into the oven. I explained all of this to her.
She kept going back to the garbage and crying. TOOKIE, TOOKIE. I tried not to laugh. After all it isn’t funny to laugh when someone’s heart is breaking.
Seriously. Her heart was breaking. I could see it happening. But it still seemed silly. They were just cookies.
But she had put in so much effort. She had mixed them together herself. She wanted her cookies.
It took awhile but she finally felt better. It took showing her the cookies in the oven and dolloping some new dough onto parchment paper to calm her down. But it was a slow process. She would stop crying for an instant and then realize what happened to her cookies all over again.
Then the cookies were done. She happily took one and smiled when she realized they were her cookies…
I pondered this process. I am a firm believer that all things are eternal truths and that you can take pretty much anything and relate it to the gospel. So here is my attempt:
We are the little girl (or boy) who have put so much into our lives, our dreams, our desires. We work hard on them. We think they are ready. But Heavenly Father knows better. He knows that there is one ingredient, one experience, one important characteristic that we are missing. He knows we need that extra ingredient to make our lives, dreams, hopes the best they can be. So He sets it aside. He takes some time in our lives to mix everything together so it is truly perfect. So we are really ready and prepared.
But we don’t understand. We think He is taking it away. We think it is gone forever. We think a lot of silly things. See He knows we need the vanilla. Without the vanilla our life won’t taste quite right. But we don’t always understand that. So we meltdown. We freak out. We are so angry, sad, and mad. Why? Why? Why?
We have to wait. We have be patient as our dreams, hopes, lives get really ready. But then they are. Then life is so much more delicious and we realize that we have what we desired all along, and it is even better than we could have ever known.