“Mommy, can I help you cook dinner?” My heart simultaneously soared and dropped (so I guess it pretty much stayed in the same place…).
Anyone who has kids or loves kids (or- I guess I should clarify-has them and loves them) knows that cooking with children is a lovely bonding experience. Kids learn language, measurement, cooking skills, and it’s a nice time to hang out and chat.
Anyone who has ever cooked with kids also knows that it is not exactly the fastest, cleanest, or most sanitary way to make a rushed weeknight meal after work. (It also means that I can’t watch Homeland out of the corner of my eye while I cook….)
But of course I said yes and we began to bustle around the kitchen, Lucy humming to herself as she worked. My daughter is 8, and we have done this together many times. I suddenly noticed how independent she has become. She got the stepladder, cut the stems off the beans (“I like cooking with you better because daddy doesn’t let me use the big knife”), only dropped three beans on the floor, curled her fingers away from the knife blade without needing a reminder, carefully tossed the beans into the pan, added a pinch of salt, and helped carry the steaks out to the BBQ.
She then skipped off so she could play for a bit before dinner, leaving me to finish, watching Homeland again out of the corner of my eye, missing my little helper.