For Christmas, Lucian received a set of cooking utensils, an apron and two cook books. He had been showing some interest in cooking and we thought he would love to have some of his own tools. He loved them. He cooked with Grandma while we were in Rapid, and he used his tools to make granola with Daddy at home. But I was disappointed because I never seemed to be able to make room in my schedule to let him help me cook. He started out asking all the time, but I said no so many times that he stopped trying. Having to time dinner prep between baby naps and feedings while fending off a toddler kept me near enough the end of my rope that I couldn't handle a child sous-chef.
On Saturday I had just entered the kitchen to make dinner. Paul and the kids were reading in the living room and Edith was napping. Soon, Lucian peeked in. "Mom? Can I help you make dinner?" Fighting off the urge to send him away, I realized that I had no good reason not to let him help today. "Sure, hun, let's get your apron." He broke out in a grin and requested his own cooking tools.
As we prepared the meal, we chatted. He told me all about the restaurant he was going to open someday, "Chef Louie's", and I listened with both ears, undistracted by other kids or other thoughts. He did as much of the meal on his own as he possibly could, and I simply stepped in to do things like turn on the burner, pour from a heavy bowl, and place the finished casserole in the oven. It was a wonderful half hour with a wonderful chef.
By the end of the dinner prep, I had officially become Lucian's sous-chef, and he had renamed his future restaurant "Chef Louie and Mom's". I think the evening was a success.