Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Hot Cocoa & Cold Milk
Bittersweet, that’s what it was, sitting with my husband and oldest daughter across a desk from the counselor at school. Not the school psychologist, mind you. Or the academic counselor. The college counselor, for my daughter, who is closing in on her junior year of high school.
Yes college: a place that seemed so very far off until so very recently.
And so we listened and the counselor talked, spouting statistics about standardized testing, the merits of the SAT versus the ACT, AP credits, and application time tables. And then she lobbed questions, lots of them: What do you want to study? How big a school? Geographical preferences?
It was odd and oddly okay to be sitting there talking about something I wasn’t sure I was ready for. But this what we’ve wanted for her. To grow up, pursue her passions, find her wings.
The meeting was coming to a close as my daughter stood to return to class. She looked back at us, positively poised, fresh faced, bright eyed, beautiful, most especially to me, her mother, in a way nobody else is. She paused to thank the counselor, said goodbye to all of us, and walked out, her thick curtain of chestnut hair swaying behind her
I turned my gaze back to the counselor, who asked if we had any questions. And I did, but then opened my mouth, and found myself saying something entirely unexpected,
“I’m going to cry now.” I announced, barely able to get the words out. My eyes filled and tears caught in my throat. My husband came to the rescue with a question of his own, saving the counselor and me from the awkward silence in the room.
As they talked, I looked at my knees, trying to regain composure, and wondering why I was crying. It wasn’t what I would have predicted. It wasn’t the overwhelming ache over how quickly she’s grown up and how soon she’ll be gone. No, these were tears of relief. And motherly pride.
We spend years caring and hoping and loving and ferrying our children, worrying all the while if they will grow up to be the good citizen that we want them to be. To learn to use the potty, tell the truth, be on time, dress themselves, be kind, make their own breakfast, buckle their seatbelt, make friends, use a napkin, do their homework, say thank you.
We’ve passed all of those milestones. This giant experiment of parenting our first child to adulthood is nearly complete. She can hold her own. She’s bright-eyed. She says thank you.
She will leave our nest. She will find her wings.
I know she’ll be ready. As for me, well, that’s another question.
Chocolate Syrup for Hot Cocoa or Cold Milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Put the cocoa powder, sugar, and water into a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring regularly with a whisk, until the mixture melts into a syrup and just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Pour syrup into a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make a glass or mug of drinking chocolate, add 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons syrup to 1 cup of warm or cold milk. Stir and serve.