Letter to a future Food Network star

Dear Rhema,

Just wanted you to know how I cherish this thing we do.

When once it seemed you did not know I was in the room.

So isolated in your hyperactivity, I let you leave me behind.

But somehow in this kitchen, you find me. You stay by my side.

Is it about the cheese? You know those big eyes of yours and that snaga-toothed smile will do me in. You’ll get your cheese.

But these moments in the kitchen tell me the God of the Universe loves me so: I get to hang out with you and your sister.

You, in the apron your grandmother made.

You meticulously sort the silverware from the dishwasher. Perfect.

I wrap your fingers around the big spoon, thinking of fine motor skills, yes, and when did the dimples in your baby hands turn into knuckles? Standing behind, guiding your hand over pot as you hum and I say stir, stir, stir. I taste the belly-filling comfort of mother and daughter.

On to the peppers. So eager, so happy, you know your job: peel the little stickers off, rinse with water, set them on the cutting board. First red, then yellow, then green. Look at the glorious colors! You make me see. You wait patiently, bouncing a little, until I’m finished chopping. You scoop the peppers into a big bowl.

And I don’t love to cook. But honey, I will buy us chef hats and every cook book. I ordered you your own set of cooking tools (thanks for the idea, Gail!). I love your excitedment. But I’m cautious. I don’t want you to get hurt, and I don’t quite know how to make you understand what is safe. We’ll learn as we go, ok?

As our little dinner simmers, I reach out my hands. You’re so big now you have to jump if there’s any hope of me lifting you high. No words, we spin-dance in the kitchen for as long as the food cooks, as long I can hold you.

I can’t believe we are here, little girl. I’ve always wanted everything for you. But I could not imagine we’d do and create these things together, this relationship so rich. You, learning, growing, doing, is the best course. You sharing it with me is chocolate tower truffle cake with 2 dollops of whipped cream.

Somewhere between oil popping in pan and your happy squeals, I know I am living a dream.


Meet you in the kitchen,

Your mother

18 thoughts on “Letter to a future Food Network star

  1. You should try a Handy Chopper. Not to expensive. Food goes in a bowl, lid has choppers in it. All the kids have to do is push the top down. My grandsons love helping me chop the veggies.

  2. I love how you’ve found your “thing” together, and it’s something so special as this. Even more than that, it’s something that you didn’t enjoy before, but is now so much more than just cooking a meal. Can’t wait to read about your next kitchen adventures together.

  3. So precious…..I know that you are cherising every moment.

    Isn’t God so good?

    Praying for more “girl’s in the kitchen” time.

    Much love….

  4. God is good. I know how much this means…I remember cherishing the times when Anna first started showing interest in cooking with me. I’m so happy for you.

  5. I always tell you how much I love your posts (I do!) and how much hope they give me or how they make me feel less alone (all true). But this? THIS gives me courage to try something new with Nik. I have all those same fears about him getting hurt and not understanding. But I know I have to have courage…and faith. Thank you for this most timely reminder.

    And…my favorite line(s) of all? “Standing behind, guiding your hand over pot as you hum and I say stir, stir, stir. I taste the belly-filling comfort of mother and daughter.” I can FEEL what you mean. I want to feel that with my little boy, too.

  6. It is so amazing that she can follow through with so many actions and the waiting……we all know autism spectrum kids are NOT good waiters. I see God’s hand in this. I’m so happy for the three of you. Thank you Lord.

  7. I imagine that it won’t be long before Rhema’s cooking skills surpass mine! I love the beauty of this moment… mother and daughter doing life together in the kitchen. I never really took an interest in this with my mother, and she never insisted. Thus, I’ve grown up to be a lousy cook and have little desire to improve on my abilities.

    But I do love time with my daughter… especially when someone else is doing the cooking for us! Maybe you and Rhema could make us something and we’d come over for dinner. We’ll clean up:).


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