No Ambition Required
It is a strange thing to succeed at something towards which I have no ambition.
It’s strange but not surprising.
After school my son is eager to come home and play and his little sister is eager to play with him. Even with the frequent mediations, this friendship enables me to be in the kitchen for longer periods of time, so in the kitchen I have been.
If you’re a reader of this blog or have known me for five minutes, you know I don’t like to cook. I only do it for my family and I’ve been thinking more and more about why. I cook for the same reasons you do I’ll bet, to
- Promote healthy eating habits
- Expose my kids to a variety of foods
- Save money
- Be together as a family with no distractions
Except for the continued struggle of accepting new foods, each of those goals are achieved. Dinner Time is sacred to my kids. They save their day’s schoolwork and drawings and treasures to share at the table. They help set the table and clear the table. They know to wait until everyone is seated. They take turns. We share our Highs and Lows and Kindnesses. My kids look forward to dinner with their parents. That is a huge win for me, as a non-cook, and that’s my takeaway: cooking does not make me happy; dinner does. Given their reluctance towards eating, I know it is the same for my kids: food does not make them happy, dinner does. Could we therefore find the same grace and good nature in another family routine? Probably, but I owe them a normal, healthy relationship with food whether any of us likes it or not. Gazing into the future, I can also see how cooking keeps kids coming back. Though I and my children could live off of cereal and avocado toast right now, no one is coming home from college for a bowl of Cheerios.
I’m never going to write a cookbook but I’m always going to set the table. That is my High for today and also my Kindness.