Now about that no chocolate policy my mother adopted several years ago...that's right, no chocolate. No chocolate chips, flakes, or syrups; no chocolate cakes, pies, puddings, or cookies. No chocolate whatsoever. Ever. She gave it up and for a reason that speaks volumes about the kind of mother that my mother is.
She became friends with a drug addict. Yes, my sweet, innocent, and naive mom from Sparta—who hadn't had more than a sip of alcohol in her whole life, much less a controlled substance—befriended a woman who spent years battling various addictions that landed her out on the street, pregnant, in and out of rehab, and finally into sobriety. [We'll call her Thelma.] My mother wrote Thelma letters, prayed for her, counseled her, visited her in rehab, cried when Thelma ran away from rehab, sat at the hospital while Thelma went through labor and gave up her baby for adoption, and then finally rejoiced as Thelma found her way to sobriety.
Through all of this, my mother came to the conclusion that she was addicted to chocolate and, if she was encouraging Thelma to get clean, well then she should too. It was her attempt to find common ground with this woman—so different from herself—who needed someone to be on her side, making sacrifices on her behalf. Whether or not she was REALLY addicted to chocolate, who knows. Regardless, she gave up something that she loved in order to make someone else feel loved. That's my mother. A mother to everyone.
In Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech at the Oscars, she thanked "the mommies who take care of the babies" in this world. My mother takes care of her babies and her babies' babies. She takes care of friends and strangers, acquaintances, neighbors, children and the elderly, the addicts, the saved and the sinners alike.
And typically all of this caring involves baking a lot of desserts...with chocolate. But she never takes a bite.