This I Believe

Alexander - Houston, Texas
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

I believe in the power of milk and cookies. There is something about a warm chocolate chip cookie combined with a chilled glass of milk that makes all problems in my life go away.

When I was eight years old my parents split. It was not a messy divorce, really, probably as easy as divorces come. My father got an apartment in downtown Houston, which was about half an hour outside of my mom’s house. Every other Saturday my dad would pick me up to spend the night at his apartment. I called his place “box city” because boxes were stacked in columns all throughout the apartment. Maybe he did not think he was going to stay there very long, maybe he was just lazy. I always felt weird going over there. The apartment’s series of diminutive rooms smelled of maple syrup and the tan wallpaper was peeling off at the top revealing a decrepit display of plaster; everything was unfamiliar. It did not feel like home.

Despite the new living conditions, we had a routine though that we continued from when we were living together. Whenever I used to get home from school, my dad would always be there pouring a glass of milk for me to go along with some warm chocolate chip cookies. No matter when I came home, if it was five minutes early or twenty minutes late, he was always right in the middle of pouring the milk when I walked in the back door. We would sit down together and he would ask me all about my day. This was our special routine. Even in my dad’s new apartment, the first thing he would do when I got over there was prepare our snack. I never realized it until later in life how much this time meant to me. It was our gateway into communication. The milk washed away the divorce, the drama, the unfamiliarity and the awkwardness of never seeing my dad; all problems ceased during this time.

The time spent discussing life over milk and cookies with my dad was a retreat from the new unfamiliar world that my parent’s divorce created. Sometimes in life you can find comfort in insignificant things. For me, the simple gesture of milk and cookies allowed my father and I to talk. Not just talk, but talk like nothing had ever changed. I’m not suggesting for you to grab the cookie jar and sit down with your dad, but rather, examine your life and look for the simple things that make you happy. Hold onto these things and embrace them because these are things that make life good.