This past week my husband Bob and our oldest son Alex drove to Vermont to look at colleges and universities. Their short trip sent me into a small tailspin and left me, like I’m sure many of you, wondering how our baby had become college bound overnight?

I have always looked forward to this time of year, the change in the weather as we transition from Summer to Fall, the time of year when you can still sleep with the windows open, the cooler air lulling you into a perfectly cozy night’s sleep. Even back-to-school shopping for the boys was something I enjoyed. But over the years, crayons and glue sticks had given way to composition notebooks and scientific calculators which has ultimately given way to college brochures and financial aid forms. Damn, I’m old.

Anticipating Alex and Bob’s return from Vermont, I instinctively found myself mixing and baking a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. While homemade cookies are not uncommon in our house, weekend trips to look at colleges are; I am unsure what prompted me to bake cookies at that moment but it simply seemed like the right thing to do. As I began to cream the butter and sugar, following the recipe that I had come to know by rote, my mind drifted. Cookies, chocolate chip cookies to be exact, have been a universal constant in my life. My earliest memories as a kid all contain those warm, fresh out of the oven treats that just beg for a tall glass of cold milk. They were and still are my mother’s preferred method of currency. It’s your birthday? --I made you some cookies. Not feeling well? --Here, have some chocolate chip cookies. That nurse at the doctor’s office is awfully nice --I made her some cookies. First days of school; Football team’s victory; Weddings, baby and bridal showers -- I swear to God, I have even witnessed my mom bringing a small delicately wrapped tray to a funeral home --sorry for your loss --have a cookie. With such a ubiquitous presence in my life, I suppose it wasn’t so strange to find myself making a