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,