The blue ceramic jar sat, the centerpiece of the dining room table, its lid nowhere to be found. What had once been filled with heavenly pieces of gooey, chocolaty delight now contained nothing but the dusting of a few crumbs. The signs were clear: a terrible crime had taken place.
The suspects were gathered into the room and each given a chance to defend their claimed innocence. Among them stood Mama, a woman whose strength—especially with a slipper in hand—made up for her lack of height. If she was not the culprit, justice would most definitely be served to whoever was. On her right stood Thomas, the firstborn son. Though his track record suggested this crime was beneath him, there was a devious side to Thomas that was not to be overlooked. But his younger brother, Timmy, was the more likely suspect. He had yet to reach the age of self-control and was a known troublemaker in this household.
And finally, towering over the rest, stood Papa. His oversized belly was a constant reminder of the man’s love for desserts of all kinds. Entire birthday cakes shook in fear at his presence. It would come as no surprise to anyone if Papa had been the thief.
The only problem: he had an alibi. And so did Timmy, and Thomas, and Mama. The four of them surrounded the empty jar, accusing each other of a crime none of them committed. They were locked in an argument that would end up nowhere. As I watched these events unfold from the comfort of my pink plastic high chair—which was coincidentally seated just inches from the dessert cabinet—I brushed a crumb from my cheek, erasing the last trace of those delicious chocolate chip cookies.