Beech Trees and Peanut Butter Cookies


You are like the stem
Of a young beech-tree,
Straight and swaying,
Breaking out in golden leaves.
Your walk is like the blowing of a beech-tree
On a hill.
Your voice is like leaves
Softly struck upon by a South wind.
Your shadow is no shadow, but a scattered sunshine;
And at night you pull the sky down to you
And hood yourself in stars.

But I am like a great oak under a cloudy sky,
Watching a stripling beech grow up at my feet.

— Amy Lowell

When we have children,  our world changes.  No, it doesn’t change. That’s not exactly it.  Change is like painting a room, then still living in the room, only now it’s a different color.  Having a child is more like living in one room, and suddenly a door opens that you didn’t know was even there, and you have this amazing new  space to add to the place you already lived.  Emotionally,  you stretch and grow and have to get used to the new space.  Maybe you don’t know exactly what to do with it, how to make it your own. But you love it.  The more time you spend there,  the more you feel yourself flourishing there.

That’s how I felt when I had my sons. I look back and realize that before I had them,  I was young and a bit selfish. I pretty much just lived my life for myself, and then when I got married, I expanded that a bit and tried to include my husband in that little realm.  Still, I pretty much got to do what I wanted.

Then along came Justin.

I looked at him and couldn’t believe how much new emotion I felt. Fear, excitement, joy, love.  Exhaustion.  I wanted to hold him every second of the day. He happily agreed to that; he even wanted me to hold him during the night, instead of sleeping. 😉 That is another story, for another day.

I couldn’t believe how he changed me, just by living in my house with me.  Instead of thinking of myself (what movie shall we go see? where shall we eat tonight?) I began thinking of Justin. ( Is he hungry? Do we have enough diapers? What can I do to make him giggle again?) The idea of living without him was unthinkable.  I thought I couldn’t possibly love any other child as much as I loved him….there just couldn’t be room in my heart for that!

And then came Jacob.

And a year later, along came Jared.

My joy and love tripled, somehow. My heart had plenty of room for those two little boys, along with Justin.

I am triply blessed.

And though I can’t carry them in my arms anymore, my heart is full of love for them.  I love watching them grow into the young men they’re becoming.  I still have those initial feelings about them: fear, excitement, joy, love. Exhaustion. But I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

One thing that I enjoy doing for my boys  is make cookies. I’ve tried out many different recipes over the years, and this particular recipe is our favorite one for peanut butter cookies. Justin makes them occasionally, and does a great job on them.

Justin’s Chewy White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup white chocolate peanut butter (the absolute best is available from Nutty’s Peanut Butter in Grand Saline, Texas. They ship! Trust me, you want to try it. My other favorite flavor from Nutty’s is butterscotch.  It’s just incredible!)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup plain flour

3/4 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

Thoroughly cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into butter mixture. Shape into one inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Use a fork to make crisscross marks on each cookie. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, about two minutes, and then transfer to cooling rack. Makes about four dozen.

These cookies end up being light and crispy around the edges, and a bit chewy in the middle.  They’re great, and Justin makes them especially well.  🙂  We hope you enjoy feeding them to your “young beech trees!”


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