It is a rare moment that I find myself alone in the kitchen for any reason really; be it dishes, dinner prep, or a project like making bread, I always have company. It is endearing (most of the time) and a great punctuation mark to these fleeting days when my company actually wants to be helping.
I will take a moment here to make a confession: I am a control freak. I'm sure that comes as a shock to a lot of people who know me *ahem*. But I count among my successes of Letting Go my ability these days to turn over the whisk, measuring cup, or ball of dough and give way to all the Help that's always pleading for something to do. There's always a mess to clean up afterward. There's frequently bickering over who's turn it is or how many times someone else got to do whatever. However, there's also an unmistakable feeling of accomplishment, importance, and joy right along with all of it.
It's the same feeling I get if I really think about it- the same sense of accomplishment and joy I find in producing something from scratch that nourishes and grows my family. The same feeling of importance we put in the things that can be produced from the labor of our hands... and the love behind it all. I guess it's only natural that my Littles are drawn to the tangible processes that hold so much love in their environment. And that is what I try to remember when they're begging- and bugging- to help. They want to contribute. They want to learn. They want to be a part of the whole. After all, like Julia Child says:
"...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."
So true in so many arenas, not just cooking, don't you think? Thanks, Julia.