Licking the bowl

Right now, my youngest son is in the kitchen making his first solo batch of brownies.

How cool is that?

Remember when it was cool to lick the bowl as a kid, and how much you looked forward to your mom giving you the spoon?

As a mom, I got to the point where I looked forward to being able to give my kids the spoon when I got done making home made brownies or cookies. It was kind of cool to see them get all excited about who got the spoon and who got the bowl.

It made me feel like I was a cool mom. Like I was a doting mom. That I was somehow making up for all those times I was covering stories late at night and coming home late for dinner.

Really, I was just opening a box and hoping I didn’t screw up. But they didn’t know that, did they? No. All they knew was that their cool mom was making them something sweet and within minutes they would be eating warm gooey chocolate, preferably with powdered sugar sprinkled all over it…

So, when Max asked if he could make brownies, I said yes. It was 8 at night, he still had two hours until bedtime, and frankly, I figured he’d get bored half way through and I’d get to finish it, along with licking the bowl.

But no, he persevered. He made his way through all the instructions and worked through until the end. Of course, he forgot the eggs until he decided the dough was really weird, but still. He figured it out, and he kept on stirring.

Now, this comes from the kid who once cooked Pizza Rolls in the microwave for 8 MINUTES because he read the instructions wrong, and was so dead set to prove his brother wrong, he insisted he was doing it correctly, right up until they caught on fire.

Max and I have cooked together before. We make omelets every few Sundays… his favorite is a pizza omelet of his own creation that includes pepperoni, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and sauteed onions. But when left alone, he typically creates a burnt mess or crispy scrambled eggs. Remembering all of the ingredients – like butter – seems to be a challenge for him.

So when he said he would make brownies, I wasn’t too sure it would turn out well. But I let him try anyway.

And I was pleasantly surprised. He fixed his mistakes. He greased the pan. He even remembered to even the batter out in the pan.

So I got to lick the bowl.

And it wasn’t just the chocolate that made me feel good. It was watching him grow up a little right there in front of me.

It was knowing that he could cook something, that the tide was changing, that he would be able to live on his own and make his way when he left me. His clothes that he washed were in the dryer and not all pink. His room was clean in places and relatively free from fire hazards. His grades were coming up and his smile told me that he was happy with who he was instead of being worried that he didn’t meet other people’s expectations.

He wasn’t my little baby anymore.

And as he towered over me, he smiled and handed me the spoon.

“There you go, Mom,” he said. “But you’re not going to eat it all, … right?”

So maybe not all grown up. But I kinda like it that way.


© Liz Carey 2014

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