Why no, I’m not in the kitchen

I am being maudlin tonight. I had a great meal in my house that was not prepared by me or by Paul. It was simple, fresh, and delicious, and now it makes me sad.

Sometimes I think I’m the world’s worst mom, I just happened to get lucky and have a great kid. Patric has been a huge help this summer. He cleans house, does laundry, feeds animals, and cooks our supper. He’s exceptionally useful, and in his spare time, he’s read a book a week (not of his choosing).

He’s great at all of it, but I have to say that I have been most impressed with his cooking this summer. He’s been brave, trying out recipes on his own, even trying out his own variations. He’s even tried his hand at recreating dishes that he ate on the road with us.

Our little boy is definitely growing up. He knows the flavors he likes together, and he’s even learned that moderation isn’t a bad thing, even when something he loves is involved. He’s learned that he can like things that he didn’t think he would, especially when he prepares them himself.

I enjoy watching him grow up, watching him learn to do things that I know he’ll use for the rest of his life. Right now he soaks up every bit of knowledge like a sponge, and he hasn’t reached that stage of teenagerdom where he will be convinced that there’s nothing I can teach him. I love the afternoon phone calls when he has a question about something in a recipe and how proud he is to serve us a meal when he’s done.

I know I have to treasure these days. I know they won’t last much longer. Soon, maybe even next summer, he’ll want a job that pays money instead of knowledge. And not long after that, he’ll be driving on his own. There will be girlfriends who he will be much more concerned about impressing than he will be his parents. Then there will be college just three short years from now.

I know there will come a time when he won’t be here, and we’ll be looking for something to thaw for dinner from the freezer. I know we’ll find something that he made and put away. And while part of me will want to save it, to keep that moment frozen, we’ll eat it for supper and we’ll taste that moment and have it back.

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