I think as moms we often live in the zone of “tomorrow”. There is just so much to do today and we are getting tired. Tomorrow is always there, promising more time and new energy. Like Annie, it seems we bank our hopes that the “sun will come out tomorrow”.
The bad news is that tomorrow just keeps hopping ahead one more day, and some very important things keep getting scheduled for “tomorrow”.
Louisa had asked for cooking lessons for several YEARS! (Gosh, it hurt me to write that! Could I really have put her off for years?!)
I had some grandiose ideas:
- recipe cards in a cute flip-top recipe box
- little 3-ring-binder that we add one recipe at a time as she learned to cook
- vocabulary terms
- discussion of cooking utensils and equipment
- healthy sweet recipes that we invented together
- a syllabus and a plan with weekly hour lessons where we focus on quick breads, then soups, salads, breakfast foods, etc.
- fun, hands-on nutrition lessons
- a cooking class with friends
. . . ah, need I go on?
Better to do a little than nothing at all. If we wait to pull things together and do them up right, then very often NOTHING happens. It is scheduled for that ever-fleeting “tomorrow”.
So, one day when she was 10, I called Louisa in from play and said, “I want you to follow the recipe and make Cabbage Banana salad for dinner. I’ll help you if you need me to.” Nothing grandiose. No organization or cute recipe cards needed. Just spur-of-the-moment, practical stuff.
She didn’t feel confident but the salad got done and a little bonus is that the other family members gave her some kudos for it. And another bonus is that I got a direly needed reminder to myself that it doesn’t have to be done exactly right as long as it is generally edible. She felt good about her effort! Next day I had her make Broccoli Tree Salad. And the following, it was Spinach Salad. Eventually I assigned her a weekly “dinner night” in which she planned the entire meal and had it ready on time.
These were not the cooking lessons I dreamed of giving her. . . boo hoo! But my spur-of-the-moment hands-on lesson was realistic, I could manage it right then. Little by little, day by day, she learned and made the metamorphosis into the capable cook she is today!
Don’t wait for that elusive tomorrow. Let the sun come out . . . today!