S’mores Summer


s'moresOnce I hear the peepers at dusk singing their enchanted tune, my heart starts to beat faster, for I know this means only one thing…Summer.

Once my eyes set upon the cotton candy shades of hydrangeas in the yard, I officially know that summer has arrived. The intense heat of the air mixed with low lying humidity screams to me, time for S’mores!

The creation of this summer treat, while sitting around a blazing fire wearing an old sweatshirt swaying my hands in front of my face to keep the smoke from burning my eyeballs and the mosquitos from nibbling my ankles, is worth the wait all winter long.

Months go by before I can once again bring together the unique combination of graham crackers, chocolate, and perfectly charred marshmallow and allow the sweet taste to envelop my senses. This heavenly, gooey, sticky decadent treat once again emerges, and a S’mores Summer begins!

The more I think about it, creating and consuming S’mores is so much more than three simple ingredients. S’mores combines the present moment sitting around the fire pit mixed with the past school year, holidays and everything in between, the days to come, and the anxious days of fall.

S’mores are similar to a delicate mixture of life…the past, present, and future all wrapped up into one special treat that the journey of our lives will have us embark on.

Too often, on any given summer evening of S’mores making, the marshmallow can get burnt to a crisp and remain hard on the inside. The marshmallow doesn’t display the softness one hoped for, but miraculously, once blended with the rest, makes a delicious treat. Maybe too often, we have a hard time balancing our career, marriage, family life, and time with loved ones and become a bit ornery and not as soft and subtle.  

Like the marshmallow, we don’t need our outside charring to delegate how we look at life. Maybe some charring allows one to learn lessons along the way, but that is for the inner soul to find out and move through. 

Or maybe the graham cracker isn’t perfectly severed at the dotted line on the cracker but rather is broken or has a sharp edge. Yet again, once combined with the marshmallow and chocolate, the divine treat melts in one’s mouth, and the imperfect square is quickly forgotten.

Maybe the need for perfection isn’t all it’s made out to be, and instead, finding comfort in the imperfection is the key to happiness.

I know I can never seem to manage a perfectly halved graham cracker. I always have edges sticking out and crumbs falling to the ground. Quite possibly, the crumbs falling to the ground are remnants of the imperfections of my life, falling away and making room for what compliments me.

Now the chocolate… two squares or three? To each his/her own, but I’m all about three. If I’m indulging, it better be phenomenal and make every taste bud explode. The chocolate is the most difficult to perfect while making S’mores. The chocolate is solely dependent on the heat of the marshmallow. It remains too hard if the marshmallow is not warmed up enough by the fire, or maybe it begins to melt and drip down the sides of one’s pinky finger if overheated.

Similar to life, we may rely on someone else to create our happiness and create our destiny of where life will take us. Will we be melting with joy and dripping with emotion based on how someone else makes us feel? Or remain hard from the struggles that too often haul behind us? Maybe we can, for a brief period, continue to stay sweet like the chocolate while we await our destiny to move forward.

We may not get exactly what we want each time we set out to make S’mores, but when does one ever truly experience that in life? 

How often do three pieces come together perfectly, on their own as individual pieces, to then create one perfect summer dessert?

Just as we each have so much to share with ourselves, lovers, family, and friends, not every piece is going to be perfect. Those around us love us for who we are and what we can offer on the given day; they are not looking for the perfect embodiment of a human.

They want the mess of the past, the hard day oozing with emotion, and the future visions and dreams. That right there is the sweet treat.

Just like the S’mores of summer, the raw ingredients of life combine to make an imperfect yet perfect person. The past, present, and future don’t always come together flawlessly around the fire pit. Still, when packed together, listening to crickets and watching fireflies chase the night sky, we can all agree that the perfectly imperfect is the sweet treat.

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Ali lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and her husband. After moving around a bit as a child, she spent her teen years in Westchester county, moved to NYC for college and returned to Westchester fifteen years ago. Prior to having the girls, she was an English teacher, and on the side always enjoyed writing with the hope to one day publish a poetry book. In her free time, Ali enjoys going on long runs, browsing independent bookstores, catching up with friends. She is in a constant state of doing laundry, cooking, policing arguments, driving to and from activities, and trying her best to be the kind of mom her girls will admire, even on her worst days. Ali is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart. You can follow Ali on Facebook at https:www.facebook.com/hangintheremama/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hang.in.there.mama