Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Cookie memories


I was at the grocery store this week and saw these.

Instantly I was transported more than 50 years back to a time I was five years old.

Oh I know they didn’t have mini Nilla Wafers back in 1961. But they had the original, larger version. I remember the yellow box and the taste. And I remember walking with my dad as we set out on an adventure the afternoon before my first day of kindergarten. I suppose we had something to drink too, but I only remember eating the cookies as dad and I tromped along the route I’d be taking the next day, and each day after, during my first year of public school.

We lived just over one mile from the school and I had to cross two big streets. Or so my mom told me later, I don’t remember crossing any streets at all. I do remember being late to school one morning and being scolded by the crossing guard at the last corner before the school. I’d been playing in mud puddles along the way and lost track of time.

Mom said for years that she felt like a terrible mother making me walk all that way alone. But she had three more children at home, my sister aged three, my brother aged two and another brother just a few months old. Even if she could get all four of us bundled up to go out I don’t think she had a car. I only remember us having one car, and dad needed that to get to work.

I think about the stress of a young mother sending her child out into the world every day, worrying about her safety, no cell phones, no notice of whether or not I made it to school, no information at all until she saw me reappear in the afternoon. Kind of unimaginable.

Mom thought she was a terrible mother for a lot of things that she had no control over. I wonder if other mothers of that period felt the same way. I wonder if mothers today feel something similar too. Even with the technology available now.

I told her often, once I was an adult, that she wasn’t a terrible mother. I hope she believed me.

And I hope she knew how glad I was that she made dad and me that little snack to enjoy as we headed out on our adventure so many years ago. Nilla wafers. Lots of memories wrapped up in that little package on the grocery store shelf.

Yep. I bought the package and enjoyed a few of the familiar sweets on my drive home.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

12 thoughts on “Cookie memories

  1. Dawn–this was wonderful. I think food memories are the best kind of memories.


  2. Fond memories. I passed a high school letting out the other day and it reminded me of my school days. Thanks for the memories.


  3. sweet story (pun intended). I think it was quite normal to have to walk quite a way to school (especially elementary school)…….I had to walk alone (or with a friend) to elementary school and I am certain it was a mile away (easily probably more)……that’s just how it was back then and imagine this? We all survived 😉


    • I think that WAS the way it was back then. Today I don’t think school systems let the kids walk so far. Later, when we didn’t live in town anymore, we walked at least a mile to a bus stop that was way out in a vacant field. No way today would kids stand out there alone waiting for a bus.


  4. That’s a really nice memory. I don’t think I have any kindergarten memories. I know I started school in Ontario and shortly after my dad was posted to Saskatchewan so we moved just a few weeks later. We lived on small radar bases so I know I walked a short distance to the base school. When I started school, my Mum would have had 4 more at home.


    • I have very few kindergarten memories. I remember sitting at low tables. And I remember getting my mat out for the nap, especially the smell of the mat and the cold of the floor.


  5. Aw, Dawn, you’re making me reach for the Kleenex box! Such a lovely memory. I don’t guess there’s a parent alive who hasn’t agonized over something or other when it comes to their kids. Thank goodness we lived in safer times, right?


    • I know, right? And of course there were 4 of us all close in age. She said she didn’t worry about us when we were all together. She figured one of us would come find her if there was a problem.


  6. Funny how certain things will bring back memories. This Collieween brought back a lot of memories for Dad. Growing up in Ohio, Essex, Deacon, Herricane WIlma, balloon animals.

    Dog Speed,

    Sherman & Gemini

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bet it did. We are out of town this Halloween, and most years we only get one or two kids so it’s not the big deal it was when we were growing up. Hope you had lots of kids come for candy at your place!


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