What I don’t do well, I teach well.
What I do well, I don’t teach well.
All my kids know how to cook and cook well. In fact, I often have volunteers for meals and snacks. Not a lot of volunteers for the dishes, but a lot of volunteers for the cooking.
I don’t consider myself a good cook, nor do I consider myself someone who loves cooking. Ironically, I love inviting people over for dinner. Then, I get those panicked thoughts, “Oh, that’s right, they’re coming for dinner, I have to FEED them.” Until I can come up with something I can cook, I am a little frantic in my mind. I love setting the table and welcoming people into my home, I am just not that confident in preparing their food.
Why do my kids love to cook? I’m pretty sure it is because I adopted my Mom’s open kitchen policy. We were welcome to cook anything and use anything in her kitchen, we just had to clean up. She worked full time, so summers were filled with scouring the Betty Crocker cookbook for recipes we thought we could accomplish. When we craved candy, we learned to make hard candy by boiling sugar, water and Karo syrup, according to the recipe.
When we craved cake, we used the two-egg cake. We loved throwing in a package of Kool-aid for flavoring and color. I remember making a cake for my Mother’s Day that was so hideous, we had to fill the hole in the middle with marshmellows.
After teaching my kids basic kitchen skills like reading a recipe, properly measuring ingredients, using the oven and mixer, they were given open season on the kitchen. I have cleaned up batter from every wall, light fixture and ceiling, but they all can run the mixer. I have had enough potholders and dish towels start on fire that I am guaranteed to be getting them for the next ten Christmases, but they all can use the oven. I count on one hour of cleanup for every 15 minutes a kid is in the kitchen, and about one glass thing broken each week.
However, I’ve noticed that some of my friends who cook really well, have kids that don’t cook. Maybe because the moms love cooking and don’t want to share the kitchen. Maybe the moms don’t want to eat sub-par cooking. Maybe they just know they can do everything better and faster. Maybe their kids don’t want to try, knowing their accomplishments will never add up to their mom’s. They say skills skip a generation, but I am not sure I understand why.
I love to write and consider myself a writer. My high school job wasn’t working at a restaurant, like my kids my age, I was writing for the local newspaper. My senior year of high school, I was given my own newspaper column. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, it was for a weekly paper in the upper corner of North Dakota. I probably had only about 100 readers. But, this job created a passion for putting my thoughts into logical, printed sentences and I dream about the day when I am published again.
However, I have to be honest – I don’t teach writing well. I am too critical, too unrealistic about their accomplishments, too slow to compliment because I am too busy editing. I’ve purchased many writing curriculums, but haven’t found they work for me. It is hard to teach something that comes natural. I’m blessed, though, that all my kids seem to have a natural bend towards writing, but I am still working on improving my skills in teaching writing.
Anybody else find this true in their life – that it is hard to teach things they do well? I would love to hear your thoughts.