“I’ve got a great idea” Audrey shouts at the dinner table over a meal of Rosita’s ( Rosita- from Sesame Street) Tortilla Soup. “Let’s make a cookbook for Grandma. I will give her all my favorite recipes so she can try them and see what she likes.”

Audrey is approaching 5 and soon to be a big sister and is taking on more ‘big girl’ duties at home. We have started planning meals as a team. We find our favorite cookbooks (hers- a Sesame Street Cookbook- better than you’d think), get our pens and paper, spread out the cookbooks all around us, and begin browsing for dinner ideas.

We debate which recipes will be best for next week and both write our shopping lists. She almost always includes broccoli on hers although she rarely eats it! In the evenings she and I prepare the meal. Some days it is the best part of my day and some days she tries my patience and I need to continually remind myself this is the only way she will learn- mess, spills, too much, not enough, oops- the dog will get that!

When Daddy comes home and proclaims that it was “the most amazing meal ever” and “Who made this delicious food?” Audrey and I decide if a recipe is a 🙂 or a 😦 and write it on the recipe with the date.

Now we sit here- her designing the cover for Grandma’s cookbook and me watching the pure excitement on her face, while imagining the moment she gives the treasured gift to Grandma.