This was my daughter’s first mise en place. She took a culinary art class this semester and it is really bringing her out of her shell. She is preparing for her final assignment and is far more confident and comfortable in the kitchen (and in life) than she was when this course began. I am so thankful for the class experiences like these that my children have had online, even if it meant that I had to be a sous chef. After all, I did learn an awful lot about cooking by being one of my mother’s assistants.
This morning, Al gave me a permission slip for one of his Summer activities. I filled it out and made sure it was on the calendar and then I started to mentally work out how everything was going to fit in the applicable schedules. I was like, dang. For the past twelve years at least, I have calculated and figured out every minute detail of how these outings were going to work before I even applied my signature to the form. I know, because I was in the process of doing it when I stopped cold in my tracks this morning. It felt good to exhale, sign the note, return it to its owner and move on with my life, without any further thought.
I am working on a project with my 13 year old, Nat. We are building a robot while all of the other kids are doing Summer work and school. We look at the instructions. I give him guidance and he does it – a little bit every day so nobody gets frustrated and nothing gets broken. He was putting together the gear boxes and he was doing everything right when the time came to tighten the screws. He reached in the direction of his screwdriver a couple of times and kept pulling back. I told him, “Don’t be afraid – go for it,” but I remembered being insecure at his age about, well, just about everything. I really felt thankful to be in a place to encourage him because once he was done, his face completely lit up with the realization that he could assemble a box that included gears, a motor and wiring all by himself.
It was Al. He was trying to get to the bottom of a situation at school that stood to really be a hot mess. He told me that he checked in with the office and they told him one thing, but he was calling to make sure everything was okay with me before he did what they said. I told him to go ahead and that I would resolve the situation before the end of the day, but I was really impressed with how he handled everything. At times like this I’m so happy that he is growing into a young person who makes good choices for himself. I’m also sad that he is getting so mature so fast, but that’s the way life is.