Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9
When I was growing up, we were not allowed in the kitchen when my mom was cooking. When my brother and I smelled dinner in the making, and heard pots and pans clanking downstairs, we knew to stay far away from the kitchen. It was, as I learned later, my mom’s quiet time. Her time to decompress and release stress from a long day. Cooking was within her control.
Having no training in culinary prowess needed to create wholesome meals for a family, it is a mystery how I even knew how to cook. Yes, I am the one who swears by a “dash of this, and a pinch of that,” and unless I’m baking, I really don’t measure. I have had some meal time mishaps, and I have burnt toast, because, seriously, people….toast is tricky!
And, now, I also get it. I get my mom’s need for alone time. My time to decompress and release stress from a long day. With cooking, everything is within my control.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18
I certainly did not want a companion in my kitchen. I didn’t want someone invading my cooking space, and my quiet time. So, after an afternoon of listening to Hunter scream for about 45 minutes with no apparent cause, I am not exactly sure what prompted me to walk into his room and ask this question: “Hunter, do you want to help Mommy cook?”
His response: Immediate relief. I could physically see all the pent up tension, all his overloaded senses quickly release before my eyes.
And, all because I invited a little boy to join me in the kitchen.
My prayers to help my son with his tantrums, to help him decompress his overloaded senses, and to overcome his anxiety after a long day were not answered with some breakthrough autism therapy. They were not a result of some overnight miracle. They were answered in our kitchen. The kitchen I claimed as mine. The kitchen I used as my quiet time. My time to decompress and release stress from a long day,
I wouldn’t trade the messy and not so quiet moments in this kitchen for the world! Because what was once simply a shot in the dark to calm an overstimulated preschooler down, has now become an afternoon mommy/son ritual. It may have also in the process become a new obsession for Hunter, and another routine we must adhere to. But, instead of missing a few moments of time with my son, I now get to watch the intense look on his face as he chops collard greens, flips pancakes, or wraps tortillas. Instead of wrestling each afternoon with the monster that sometimes gets off the school bus, I now get to teach him the finesse of “a dash of this and a pinch of that.” I now have precious moments to cherish each day that I would not have if I still insisted on cooking in my kitchen-alone!
And all because I asked a little boy to join me in the kitchen.