So When Are You Coming to Visit, Bubbie?

Before I had grandchildren, I vowed that I would never be the kind of bubbie who brought gifts whenever I visited. I learned that from a psychologist who said that grandchildren shouldn’t connect you with the things you give them. (Kind of the Pavlov theory in reverse.) Grandchildren should be thrilled just to see you. I thought this was very good advice until I had grandchildren of my own. When my seven geniuses were little, I bought inexpensive items such as crayons, puzzles and holiday books from the Sisterhood Gift Shop. (I would see to it that they would be Jewish if it was the last thing I did!) These gifts worked well when they were little, but it got more difficult (and expensive) when they were older.

One day I told my friend my dilemma. This wise grandmother gave me the answer I'd been searching for. "When you visit," she said, "bake a huge batch of cookies, put them in a tin with a ribbon on top and present it like it's the Hope diamond." In fact, to my grandchildren who are forced by their health conscious parents to snack on raisins and carrots, it WAS the Hope diamond. Now whenever I arrive, I am greeted with hugs, kisses and, in unison, "Did you bring cookies?" Sometimes I wonder if they look forward to the cookies more than to seeing me. If they do, it’s okay, because the sweets are gone and forgotten within 24 hours, but me they get for an entire week.

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