With my fascination for cooking creatively and my enjoyment of movies about that subject, one might think that I am the chef who is being made. Cooking does continue to draw me.
However, I discovered last Friday that another family member is casting a vision forward that includes being a chef.
My granddaughter Aubrey, who will be eight years old on Halloween day, is at that age where she asks adults what they wanted to be when they were children. She listens intently to the answer, comparing what she knows about the person to the dream that he or she shares, checking to see if the hope was realized.
I was delighted when Aubrey shared that she would like to be a chef. This little girl has often reflected back to me aspects of my own personality and dreams. We have many interests and abilities in common. And while Aubrey is uniquely herself, with her own gifts to offer to the world, she often teaches me deep truths about who I am.
We spent time together early this morning, before school, and I smiled, listening to her talk about the reality cooking shows that she watches on television. We discussed the importance of presentation when serving food and looked at Instagram pics of chefs’ creations. Her dream is a big one that includes being a chef in a famous restaurant that she owns.
I love her heart and her vision and her willingness to explore this interest of hers. Next year she may decide that she wants to be a teacher or a writer or a biologist. I know how powerful a child’s dreams are though. And that an eight year old can choose a career path and never waver from it. Aubrey’s daddy, my son, made such a decision at that age.
If she changes her mind and explores other possibilities, that is absolutely fine. What I can do now is be present with her as she dreams, listening to her ideas, asking questions, and encourage her to follow her heart, always.
And I can join her in an activity that we both feel drawn to. Aubrey helped me make fruit smoothies this morning. And we discussed attending a kid friendly cooking class together. She loved that suggestion and chatted excitedly about such an opportunity, all the way to school.
Before I walked her to class she asked a question…
“Yaya, what do you think they would teach us to cook first? Ramen noodles?”
I assured this sweet and sincere child that whatever we learned, it would be fun. I didn’t laugh with delight until I was driving home, alone.
Ramen noodles or vegan dishes or a sumptious multi course feast, I’ll walk alongside Aubrey as she learns to cook, and savor every delicious moment.