Her gift to me is to cook breakfast and dinner today, a huge undertaking for a kid who's totally lukewarm about being in the kitchen. I blame myself.
I have such warm memories of hanging out in the cozy confines of my grandmother's kitchen, dragging a step stool to the stove to stir a pot of crazy stew she let me create when I was barely 5. By the time I was 9, I was making family dinners, but this was a grim necessity in the choppy wake of my mother splitting from my father and leaving three children in his care. Oh, did I mention? They were both alcoholics.
But wait. There's a happy ending. I took comfort cooking, feeding and bossing around my younger sibs. (Thank goodness they're forgiving people.) And when I had a kid, I was sure I could pass along everything I knew and loved to her. But shoot. It turns out I'm a terrible teacher and she was a super picky eater and our relationship flouished elsewhere, but fizzled in the kitchen.
I keep trying, luring her with the promise of unlocking the secrets of a great mac-and-cheese or the ease of stir-frying. How will she feed herself? I fret. Sure, she has mastered nachoes and can make a frozen pizza, but is completely ambivalent about the rest. Until today. When she promises to give it her best effort and that's the best possible Mother's Day present I could ask for because it's made with love, my favorite ingredient.
What's on your menu today?