Grandma always knew, even back then. Christopher was always cooking up something special.
As my nephew Christopher was growing up, Mom would watch him a couple of days a week while his mom and dad worked. Those moments became ones we all would eventually cherish.
I remember traveling back to West Virginia from my home in North Carolina to steal a little bit of time with my energetic nephew. Christopher's arrival brought excitement to the day because Mom always seemed to plan some kind of activity, usually centered around preparing food.
Mom let me have my time with him to watch Godzilla movies, play Power Rangers, and build forts. Eventually, I would collapse from trying to keep up with my nephew, so whatever Mom had planned for Christopher ended up providing a nice respite for me to recharge my batteries for the boy who never liked to nap.
Grandma and Christopher. Christopher and Grandma. In the kitchen. Making a mess full of memories.
I stayed out of their way, taking pictures of Christopher as he tore through the various ingredients Mom had neatly arranged on the counter. At that age, Christopher could care less about following directions and just wanted to cook with Grandma. Two generations together in a zone, measuring, mixing, and tasting, making more than just some cookies and pizza.
The pizza picture. I could not get it out of my mind one Saturday in mid-October as Chris was marrying Sami at a beautiful fall wedding on the steps of the Mansion at Oglebay Park. Even after the wedding, I continued to see Chris sitting on the kitchen chair, putting pepperoni on our pizza.
Weddings are celebrations beyond the union of two people. This year was an insanely hectic period for the Bucon households as both Chris and his sister Emily married within a span of fewer than three months. Over the past year, life for all of us became an emotional journey. Life rumbles on in this way. We watch the young ones grow older, we feel ourselves age as our bodies regularly ache, and we all become a little more sentimental.
Grandma's Little Pizza Boy is grown now. Chris towers over Grandma, but he is not too tall for a big hug. Both are much older as time has made Chris and Mom examples of life's journey. That weekend, Grandma sat proudly on the front row at the wedding, enveloped in another remarkable moment in her life.
It is no secret to anyone that Chris still loves to cook, always whipping up a great meal for Sami and himself. He is actually pretty good at it from what Sami says. He still does not follow directions to the letter, and he makes a bit of a mess as he did with Grandma. Still, Chris is constantly tasting the food to make sure it is perfect, full of just the right amount of seasoning and plenty of love. Grandma always knew. Chris is always cooking up something special.
Congratulations to Chris and Sami as well as Emily and Michael on your weddings.
They were both wonderful and magical moments for everyone.
I am putting the final touches on my new book.
The release is still set for November.
I will keep you posted on the date!