My lads made dinner tonight.
Last night, the eldest and I attended a cookery class at the boys’ school. We made leek and potato soup followed by tuna fishcakes, and he claimed to enjoy both dishes so much that I had an idea… I thought he could recreate the experience for his brother at home – and save me the hassle of cooking dinner for once.
The plan was a roaring success. While one boy scrubbed and chopped the leeks the other got to work with the potatoes.
Their enthusiasm was just intoxicating.
I love the way these little boys bloom when given the chance to exercise a bit of independence. Their movements change; they’re possessed with a self-assuredness that isn’t there when they get stuck on a word in their reading books, or when they’re (reluctantly) brushing their teeth and asking for the millionth time: “Has that been two minutes yet?”
They seemed to throw their shoulders back just the tiniest fraction of an inch, and the gentlest hint of swagger marked their movements as they dragged chairs from the table over to the worktop in order to be able to reach the blender.
They wield sharp knives with eyes wide, and suddenly-confident banter flows easily between them. In the kitchen, camaraderie flows instead of rivalry.
But it’s woefully easy to take shortcuts – not just in the kitchen but in life in general – and in so doing, to deprive them of these opportunities to bloom. Here’s to giving sharp knives to little boys, throwing caution to the wind, and watching boys become men. Not too fast, mind.