Made From Scratch

“I made you from scratch, you know.”

Teenage Me rolled my eyes every time my Mom said that. It was a statement that often followed “be careful” or “no, you can’t do that”, so I quickly grew weary of hearing it.

“Okay, so you gave birth to me. Geez, I get it lady. Now let me do my thing!”

I fell from tree branches. I tore up my knees roller blading in the street. I busted my lip playing backyard football with the boys.

And no matter how many times she had cautioned me to be careful, no matter how many times I had throw that caution to the wind…my mom was always there, with an ice pack and a hug and a reminder that

“I made you from scratch, you know.”

Years later, my son burst into this world with the wimpiest cry you ever heard. I was splayed out on that hospital bed, exhausted and nearly unable to move, and I watched with panic as my sister grabbed the suction bulb and saved my little baby’s developing brain.

Just a little aspiration, he would be fine.

But as I held him to my chest, my heart racing, I felt a fleeting moment of an unexpected emotion—what was it?

Anger? Fear? Relief?

All of it.

I whispered into his little ear, “Be careful little man. I made you from scratch, you know.”

He’s four now, with a two year old sister.

It probably doesn’t have to be said—because, toddlerhood—but these kids don’t give a rip about the dangers around them.

They play with reckless abandon on playground equipment that I swear is towering so high it touches the clouds.

“BE CAREFUL!” I yell, like the neurotic helicopter mom I never thought I’d be.

Don’t these kids know I made them from scratch?

These babies ain’t a cake box recipe. They are—-every single part—-hand-crafted and unique, put together with love and intention.

I can’t replace them, and I don’t want to try. The idea is unfathomable. There’s no one like them in this world, and there never will be again

As every good cook knows, there’s always a little love thrown in the mix when you are making something from scratch. In the moment, you just know that the recipe calls for a little something extra. Something that wouldn’t work any other day of the week, but on this special occasion, will make the batch complete.

It’s not written on paper, and there’s no record of its existence. But the cook who made the batch from scratch, knows exactly what’s in it.

Every good cook knows.

And so does every Mom.

When my daughter came running up to me last week with her first bloody knee, I nearly cried. But I composed myself so her eyes wouldn’t know my fear.

I kissed her boo boo and made an ice pack. I smelled her sweet curls, that still have just a hint of babiness in them. Then I pulled her in for a hug and whispered,

“Be careful, baby. I made you from scratch, you know.”

She toddled back toward the playground that touches the clouds, and I knew in my heart why my mom had bugged me all of those years…

We throw our entire hearts in the mix with our children, and it’s with them wherever they go.

They are made from scratch, you know.


About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. A friend of mine pointed me to your hilarious video of hugging the stranger at the gas pumps, and I started my morning in tears laughing with you. I was compelled to look up your webpage and have just now read several excerpts from your very amazing book. I am a wannabe writer myself – and master procrastinator at the same. I am a retired divorcee of 68, a full-time college student, father of four; and, I wanted to thank you for your gift of converting your heart to print. I was also moved to tears at your reflections, particularly in “Made from scratch”, and What women think at Target. I have two novels in my head brewing; and they get better with the passing of time. “Tidy Poop” is the story of a bunny and a rattlesnake that become best friends, and, in that strange union help each other to find their purpose in life. “The 7th bird” is about why the pigeons on the lamppost always seem to have a missing family member. The “missing bird” becomes everything that we are missing in our lives. Your book inspires me to begin… perhaps 15 minutes a day…but the problem of creating fictional characters is that they take on a life of their own, and they become invasive in you “real” life, so they’re very distracting in ‘real’ life’. Thanks Mary.

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