Friday, October 14, 2011

Talk Does Not Cook Rice

Rachel here.

This is a tiny post, rendered by tiny toddler hands and mine, come together in the kitchen for the first time.

This is my blog with my mom; this is my first post about cooking with my own daughter.

Maxine is interested these days. She's interested in everything--what's behind doors and under pillows, how things come together and fall apart. She wants to partake, to join, to share in everything. If I open the dishwasher, she closes it. When she comes into our room in the morning after having breakfast with her dad on our days off, she lies down next to me and pretends to sleep. Her fine motor skills are growing stronger by the second. She gets more spoonfuls of food into her mouth now than she misses; she can poke her finger up her nose on her first try.

So, last night, we made rice together. I filled measuring cups and she dutifully poured their contents into the pot. She stirred everything up and then hung out on my hip declaring hot hot hot as I set the burner to its proper heat. When the rice was done, and came out perfectly (not always the case when I'm at the helm), we high-fived and she clapped.

It was a tiny moment. But, as we separate physically more and more, as she ceases to viscerally carry the days when we were bound, here was a tiny reconnection, a new site of unity.

And I thought of the many afternoons I spent in the kitchen with my own mother as a girl, and of our coming together in this space across time zones and kitchen tables, and I smiled.

Someday I will pass down to her the recipes I have from my grandmothers and my mother. Maybe Max will love cooking; maybe she'll be the take-out queen. There's a Chinese proverb that says something to the effect of talk does not cook rice. Whether she seeks the kitchen as much as her dad and I do or not, I hope she knows that she is always welcome alongside me there, that we can come together silently in the simple act of cooking rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment