Letting Go in the Kitchen

I love to cook. I am a bit of a perfectionist with my cooking. I rarely let anyone in the kitchen with me when I am creating a meal. I get in a zone. In my kid-free days, I would get stoned, turn on the Dead, and spend hours in my kitchen, making some really amazing things. Yet now I am a mama. My dear little 5 year-old seems to share my enthusiasm for cooking. He is always so very curious about what is going on in the kitchen. We have cooked “together” before, which translates to me telling him what to do and hand-over-handing him through the steps. The new year is upon us today and I have made many resolutions. One of those resolutions includes letting my kids explore life a little more, stepping back and observing while they figure things out on their own. So tonight, as I was preparing to make some yummy vegan applesauce muffins, my wee guy asked if he could help. My instant reaction was to say no, not now. After a breath, I called him back. “Come here”, I told him. He eyed me suspiciously as I led him back into the kitchen. When I told him he could help, his eyes lit up and those dimples I so love appeared on his cheeks as he broke into a huge smile. He washed his hands, and then joined me at our big kitchen table. I simply told him how much of each ingredient(he is an emerging reader)to use and he did the rest. Many times I held my tongue as I had the urge to correct something he was doing. Oh, crap, he’s not putting equal amounts in each muffin cup, did he stir it enough….aughhh! I used my breath, the same breath I use to get me through tough yoga poses, each time that little voice piped up in my head. I am happy to say, we got through it with no frustration. Once the muffins were in the oven, he ran out to the living room and proudly exclaimed “I made muffins!”. These are the moments I live for. It is my goal to have more moments like this. In order to do it, I have to set aside my perfectionism and allow life to happen. I know the more I do this, the more happy times we will all have together.

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