Lime juice, chocolate syrup, brie, penne pasta, and peach yogurt are the ingredients swiped up by hands eager to learn the art of cooking. Joseph is making breakfast in a large saucepan. A wooden pasta spoon stands at the ready. With wide eyes, this animated toddler lifts the lid and peeps in upon his simmering sauce. Not done! He shuts the lid with gusto and busies himself at finding more interesting boxes and containers from the recycle bin.
Such odd concoctions are quite commonplace each day, especially around mealtimes when I'm busy at the stove, sink, or slicing board.
Preparing food is such a joy! I'm thrilled that my little boy is also enthralled with the process. While whipping a sauce or kneading dough at the counter, I usually hear the scrape of chair legs across the floor as Joseph scoots a make-shift stool to my side. His head pops up above the counter and little fingers fly - as if he's morphed into an octopus. Flour spills into the stainless steel sink, salt sprays across the countertop, oil oozes down the cabinet door, dough plops upon the floor. My attention focuses so much on my two-year-old that a sudden whistle alerts me to the boiling water in a kettle or a snapping pop reminds me of the bacon sizzling in the skillet or rushing water motions me to the overflowing pitcher in the sink. Cooking is chaos in my house while dishes pile high, towels used for cleaning up messes create a haystack upon the floor, and trinkets seized by little hands dot every surface around the room.
One day, I'll be putting final touches on a delectable dessert, sumptuous soup, or other lip-smacking delight and I'll wonder where those little fingers went. Right now it might be an inconvenience to take twice as long to make a meal, but in no time at all my little boy will no longer pop up beside me while I work. Eager hands and a hopeful heart Joseph donns. I pray that with patience I can help Joseph keep both while learning self-discipline. I pray that with grace I can teach Joseph to clean up messes as much as he makes them. I pray that right now I can enjoy each hectic moment so that when these times are no more, I can re-play the sweet memories they will yield.
What is at hand for you, fellow adventurer? Perhaps you're dreading something or blissfully enjoying life. What even mundane task can you create into a splendid memory?