Baking with your kids/teen - Why you should
Last week a friend of mine wrote me on facebook, she was tired, frustrated and wanted a bit of advice from a veteran Mom. I called her (what my generation does), and we talked for awhile. I ended up inviting her over that afternoon to bake with her three kids and mine.
They tumbled into my house with rainboots, smiles, and excitement. Aprons were put on, and we started making cupcakes. They were quiet, attentive and loving every step. "Is my turn now? Can I break the eggs?" Their eyes were filled with joy, as they sat on my counter, hovering over the bowl, helping me with every step.
Then my daughter, a fourteen-year-old teen, walked in from school. She had not seen the message I had written that we had company. She saw the small pink rainboots, the little coats and could smell the baking and hear the children. As she entered the kitchen a smile burst across her face, "Ohhhh, you're baking can I help?" Another apron, a bigger child, and more conversation.
About three hours later the kids headed back to their house proudly carrying their baked goods. My son and daughter started talking about baking, growing up and how much they loved it and still do.
I didn't realize until that afternoon how much I had baked and how many conversations we have had while baking. As we move through the kitchen doing our tasks we talk.
When they were little, I was teaching them, but I don't need to teach anymore. Baking has become a habit, and our conversations have evolved. They don't even realize they are talking. At twenty-two, sixteen and fourteen they are still licking the beaters, tasting the dough and enjoying the food.
A few months ago my daughter came with a university friend, and we baked until midnight. The wine was flowing towards the end, the conversations we had were terrific, deep and fun as was the entire experience. I would have never shared that evening with them if I had not been baking and it was just as magical as the afternoon I had last week.
It could be that you find connection through different activities, but it is important to find that connection. Think about it what is your connection; gardening, sports, a craft?
I forgot how much baking brings to this house, not just in the calorie count.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife