I started to make pancakes this morning. Right there on the page just before “griddle cakes” was a recipe for coffee cake. Since it is summer and I have committed to cooking more breakfast I decided to give it a shot.
“Memmy! Wanna help me cook breakfast?” And. he. said. no. Surprised me!
Memmy loves to help me cook. Normally I would then ask Bub, my other chef. But, it was early in the morning. Being 13, I was sure he wasn’t going to be real excited about baking coffee cake. So I started gathering ingredients to make the coffee cake myself.
Then I hear this. “Girls can cook too, y’know. I want to help you.” Surprised me! Sis never wants to cook. I didn’t even think to ask her. As we began creating coffee cake, I processed the humor in her frustration. Girl’s can cook too, y’know.
I have never allowed gender to box my children in. Bubby had dolls and loveys. Sissy had trucks. Sissy was Batman for Halloween once. Now, that is not to say that I don’t believe in gender differences. I have seen it at home and at school. Boys are usually boys and girls are usually girls. As a teacher I have researched and experienced the value in offering plenty of opportunities to young children. Then, I stood right in my own kitchen and forgot to ask my 10-year-old daughter if she wanted to cook coffee cake. Oops.
In my defense, she really doesn’t usually want to help me cook. She likes to help me organize and sort and shop and create, but not usually cook. And, in my marriage, Darling Husband is the better cook. I often say, “I fix dinner, but [DH] actually cooks dinner.” And I’m glad! My belly is glad. I’m glad my boys get to see that men can be great cooks. DH’s Daddy, Papaw Johnny was a great cook and maybe even his father before him?
I learned a lesson this morning. Ask them all. You never know who will want to help out!