As planned, I picked my son up from school tonight and asked if he still wanted to help cook. He did. After our previous couple of nights, I was excited to have a happy boy eager to join in the kitchen fun.
“Mommy!” my son hollered from upstairs. “What’s that sound?”
“That’s the chili! It’s done. Wash up!” I yelled back, happily.
Then, a meltdown started. Slowly at first: “But Mommy, I was going to help!”
At one time, my parents insisted I should go shopping by myself. Leave the baby at home; it will be easier, they said. They were right — it most definitely would have been easier. But I would have missed out on some really great memories, and my son would have missed out on a lot too. I insist that even though it can be annoying, taking kids with you to the store is smart. Here’s why.
A lot of our vacations with our son have been to visit family. Sometimes we add on adventures and stay in hotels. We’ve also rented a condo. You’d think that vacation time would be about not cooking, but somehow, when you’re on vacation, it feels different. It’s less rushed. It’s more enjoyable to sit and eat what you’ve prepared. It’s about gathering with family. It’s time together preparing the meal and time together savoring it. It feeds the body and the soul.
At this point, he was excited to help with the rest. He added spices to the cauliflower and helped to put them on a baking sheet. He also helped season the steaks. And he was eager to join me outside at the grill.
It was a wonderful night with him, but it was probably just a fluke, I thought. But then, his interest continued this weekend.