Being :: In The Kitchen with My Girl

March 13, 2012

Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.

Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.

My not so little girl is growing up.

Of course, she’s truly been not so little for quite some time now. She’s 9 (and a half!) after all.

But she is my third of four children. My youngest girl. I find myself holding fast to her little girl ways.

Savoring each last bit.

She announced to me a few weeks ago that she wanted to start cooking on her own, making complete healthy meals, and using the huge kitchen knife without my looking. “And Mama, can you teach me how to make coffee for you and daddy?” she swooned. You have to admire a kid who lays on charm and chef knife usage in one fell swoop.

So we’ve been doing real kitchen stuff. She and I. She’d like me to put emphasis on the “she” part.

She’s been making fruit salads, sautéing onions for soup, blending green smoothies, and homemade hummus. Pancakes are next on her list. I shouldn’t be surprised to see her so at ease, so confident in this kitchen. We are food people after all. She’s had years of watching it all happen. But there she is. Gathering bits of a nourishing meal together. Asking to dice a tomato to top the hummus, taste testing the everything, and reassuring me two cookies each for lunch is not too much sugar.

Over the years our kitchen has seen its share of spilled flour and fading patience. We’ve coaxed picky eaters and had dinners so wild they seemed more like a circus routine than anything else. Some of it has been handled with grace, some not. But somehow it’s all coming together for this girl. My girl. Making food for the people she loves and pouring love and attention into the littlest of details.

And perhaps best of all, looking at me with her cheshire cat grin and saying, “I made lunch, so you get to clean up. Right?”

“Of course,” I tell her.

{As a side note, I just want to add that we keep a watchful eye on the use of any kitchen appliances and had some instruction on proper knife skills. Safety first!}

We welcome Stephinie of the beautiful blog Gypsy Forest here with us for the month of March. Stephinie is a mama to 4, a writer and a very creative soul. We hope that you will join us each Tuesday for Stephinie’s reflections and images in our Being series. To learn more about Stephinie, please visit her blog.

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KC March 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

What a lovely post. Gives me visions of the future as I have two girls both under three still. I look forward to reading your future guest posts.

Stephinie (GypsyMama) March 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

Thank you. There is truly something magical about making food with kids and then letting them go off and do it on their own .

Meryl March 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I remember being so proud the first time my dad let me cut food with a real knife. No doubt your little one feels the same.

Stephinie (GypsyMama) March 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

Meryl, you are so right. She had pride beaming ear to ear!

Sarah March 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

This makes me think of “my girl”. And At 8 1/2 she joins me in the kitchen and shares a love of food, food preparation and meal times too. Recently, she made a batch of blueberry muffins for my sister and brother in law to cheer them up (they have a child with a terminal disease). I was in the basement sewing and could hear her pitter-pattering across the kitchen floor, talking to herself, sometimes asking me a question, and singing while baking. It brought tears to my eyes in the moment and does now as I write this. At 8 1/2 she knows the simple power of sharing good nourishing food.

Stephinie (GypsyMama) March 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

Sarah, this is such a sweet story. Thank you so much for sharing it. You have no doubt taught your girl through your own actions…. and sharing food is absolutely a powerful thing.

jeanene - Earthboys March 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

My boys love to be in the kitchen helping out and cooking, especially baking! They have been quite confident with real knives since they were able to sit up and hold one, they especially love peeling and chopping fruits and veg and of course helping out in the fields with their own machetas. Beautiful post.

Stephinie (GypsyMama) March 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

Thank you for sharing. I love hearing about other kids finding their way around the kitchen and enjoying being involved in the process of food. I’m glad you liked the post!

Nicola March 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Oh, I can relate to the little girl growing up.

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