Time for Taffy

105182105411181CDPAs a young mother, I prayed a lot; there seemed to be many occasions that it couldn’t hurt to ask for divine help raising my girls.  Anything too small or too frivolous to pray for?  I think not!

When my daughter in grade school lost her homework and the bus arrival was imminent-I searched and prayed.  Something directed me, “Look under the table cloth.”  Ridiculous?  Uh-huh!  But it worked!  Guess where I found the missing lessons?

And when my youngest daughter came home and reported someone on the bus was being mean to her–praying was automatic.  “Lord, how do we fix this?  Being mean back isn’t the answer.”

Years had passed since I had made taffy as a child.  And we hadn’t done it often; it’s a long process–stirring the boiling syrup, pulling and twisting it into long ropes as it cools. The results were golden satiny pieces of sweet candy, and slightly burned hands.

But that popped into my head as the perfect solution-my daughter would help solve her problem and we would have mother-daughter quality time.

So, we made taffy.   I boiled and stirred until it was time to pour it onto a buttered board and start pulling the hot, sticky mass into twisted rope-like strands.  We pulled and folded the ropes of taffy, then pulled some more.  The taffy stretching gave us room for stretching our conversation and imaginations.

“Honey, this little boy probably doesn’t know how to be nice.  Maybe this is how he thinks you make friends,” I said.    “We have an opportunity to show him a different way.”

I outlined my plan–we would bring him a piece of homemade taffy each day, wrapped and presented as a gift.

I cautioned my daughter against possible disappointment.  “If this little boy isn’t use to kindness“, I explained, “he might pretend he doesn’t want it and throw it away.  But that’s okay“, I continued, “we’ll just bring him some more“.  The next morning my daughter took a large piece of wrapped taffy and left for the school bus.

Her tale when she returned home made me glad I had been inspired to add the information about the little boy possibly rejecting her gift. It could only have been part of my answered prayer.  The boy took the candy, scoffed and threw it on the bus floor.  A neighbor boy picked it up, unwrapped it, stuck it in his mouth and shouted “It’s good!”  All the while, the boy for whom it was intended watched.  My daughter bore the disappointment well.

The next morning the tormentor on the bus accepted the candy and defiantly stuck it in his mouth, not willing to let someone get his gift again.

A third morning of taffy fixed the problem.  The torment stopped.  The next time I attended a school luncheon for parents and students; that same little boy was smiling and sneaking friendly glances at my daughter.

Some years later when a similar problem arose?  “Time for taffy!” I shouted.


12 thoughts on “Time for Taffy

  1. What a beautiful story…and taffy, I just love taffy. Thank you for sharing this. It gave me a smile to start the day. Doris


    1. It worked amazingly well, and I knew some of the little boy’s problems and why he might not understand how to make a friend. But I believe the solution came from outside me!
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Neva


  2. Lovely story, Neva. The best solutions do sometimes take a little working out- with kindness at the root of them. In Scotland we call taffy ‘toffee’. My mother made toffee but she didn’t do the rolling and stretching you talk of. She had a special flat cooling tray which took the poured searingly hot toffee and when it was cool and hard she had a little metal mallet that she used to break it into bit sized chunks. Yum. Unfortunately, the enamel on my teeth is now protesting at the thought of me eating hard toffee. 😉


    1. We have toffee here too and it is made a little different, but your toffee may be my taffy! It was a great mother daughter bonding time too. And time consuming so I seldom made it, but it is good. Thanks for reading! Neva


  3. Neva, this is such a lovely and creative post. What a way to teach a child to handle problems. I know I’ve done my share of praying with and over my children and God answers prayer. You were very creative to come up with the taffy idea and I love it. We used to make taffy every Christmas – it was a tradition and one we couldn’t wait to do with our mother. One Christmas stands out though. When my mother had poured the boiling taffy in the pan to cool, she turned her back and my little brother (who was about three at the time) put his hands in it, thinking it was cool enough. Of course, that meant a trip to the ER, but while my parents left to take him my sisters and I pulled the taffy. Little brother came home with a big smile from something or other the nurses had given him in the ER and he felt like quite the king because he was treated to anything he wanted for a few days. Needless to say, he never did that again!


  4. Gosh, Neva, if I had known I’d get some taffy from a pretty girl when I was in elementary school, I might have tried the bully route. Instead, I was best buds with them. And the best I got was Valentine’s cards. Lol.


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