As a family of three with two grown-ups who work full time, our days tend to be quite full. At that pace your tend to live life to it’s fullest. Each family moment seems to be more rushed, but at the same time more intense. Sometimes the days rush by and I never notice a specific moment. At other times something grabs me and I’m struck by the sheer wonder of an instant.
At the end of the work day I pick C up from daycare and we rush home to enjoy our evening. I pick her up at 5:30 and she’s usually ready to call it a night around 7 so our evenings tend to be short. As soon as we get home I put her in her high-chair and start getting her dinner together. While she eats her cheese and vegetables and whatever else is on the menu for the evening, I busy myself around the kitchen preparing M’s and my dinner. We listen to some music or we watch some TV, C babbles to the cat, sings some songs or just chats about her day. The stress of the day slowly seeps away and we fall into our evening rhythm.
Sometime in the middle of this well rehearsed dance C squeals and points to the window. Her daddy is home. M comes into the kitchen and gives C and me a kiss. He goes to get changed and then comes back to see us. He sits with C and tells me about his day. Time stops for a minute and it’s no longer about rushing through and getting things done, it’s about us, being together, enjoying each other. It’s about being a family, a family who takes time to just be despite the insanity of our schedules. Those moments never last long, but they mean everything.
When I think of my childhood, it’s the kitchen moments that I remember best. I remember doing my homework while my mother made dinner. I remember dancing around the kitchen to rock-and-roll songs with my mother, giggling the whole time. I remember chatting with her about my day and her day. I remember learning to cook while I watched her create amazing meals.
One day C will remember sitting in the kitchen while I cook dinner. She’ll remember her mother and father hugging and dancing around the kitchen. Maybe she’ll remember sharing her dinner with her cat. Hopefully she’ll remember watching prep good meals and grow to love cooking as much as I do. More importantly, I hope that she’ll remember the love that engulfed us as we reconnected at the end of a day apart, and she’ll be warmed by those memories the same way I am.
In the kitchen… it’s where memories are made and love grows.