This morning I was getting ready and, as is our routine, David was downstairs in the kitchen with the boys getting them ready for breakfast. My house isn’t very big, so it’s pretty easy to hear conversations taking place in the other room. David was giving the boys their options for breakfast this morning: eggs, ham, smoked salmon or yogurt (we have a rule that they have to eat protein in the morning). This morning the conversation sounded like every other morning’s banter until, over the clattering of dishes and pans, I heard a little voice pop up and say, “I want scrambled eggs, but can I make them myself?”
There was silence for a split second before David replied, “Sure thing buddy.”
I listened as David slowly walked him through breaking the egg, using a whisk, getting the pan to the right temperature, melting the butter and moving around the eggs fast enough that they don’t burn but not so fast that you ruin the consistency. My son is a perfectionist and I held my breath straining to hear if there was any distress in his voice as he chatted with his dad about which tools and gadgets to use. There was none. His little brother asked questions about what they were doing each step of the way and my heart swelled with pride when older son said, “Don’t worry, after Daddy teaches me, I’ll be able to teach you too.”
I’ve always felt that it is very important to let the kids help out in the kitchen. My mom allowed me assist her in the kitchen as a child and I know that my love of cooking today stems from all of the hours that she patiently looked on as I made a giant mess of her perfectly organized kitchen. I can still remember the way that it made me feel when I would present her with some sort of concoction or treat and I would wait for her reaction. To her credit, she always acted like I had made the best thing ever even though I’m sure some of them were borderline inedible. But her praise meant the world to me. I have spent countless hours in the kitchen with my boys. It usually means that making dinner will take twice as long and that my cookies and cakes will fall short of being the Martha Stewart masterpieces I envisioned in my head, but it also means that I have passed on a love of something that was graciously passed on to me.
My kids have been cracking eggs since they could walk and they like dumping measuring cups and spoons full of ingredients into bowls as much as they like sampling the end product. Today was a big first though. Today my little guy made his own eggs from start to finish with minimal guidance from his father. This morning when he came into my bedroom to present me with a plate full of his creation, I knew the feeling he had in his stomach because it was the same feeling I had had so many times before. His eyes were wide with expectation as he watched me lift the fork to my mouth and as I closed my eyes and smiled thinking of all of the times my own mother has done this exact same thing. I will never forget the look on his face when I opened my eyes and bent down to his level saying just above a whisper, “These are the best eggs ever.” And they were because when he made eggs on his own for the first time I was the person he wanted to taste them. And, as a mom, that is one of the little moments in life that I live for.