I had visions of a Hallmark commercial in my
head. Mother and daughter together in the kitchen. Laughing. Telling stories.
Making a mess and loving every minute of it.
She had visions of mini-marshmallows going in to
her mouth. I knew that, but still I believed the holiday magic would get the
better of both of us.
She began a countdown. Every morning she would
announce the number of days until she got to help me make the sweet potato
casserole. I thought her excitement level was adorable.
The day before Thanksgiving, the first words out
of her mouth were, "When do we get to do it? How many minutes?"
The anticipation felt like Christmas or her
birthday. I couldn't believe she was THAT enthusiastic about cooking. I had to
put her off until the late afternoon. Finally, it was time.
"YAY!" she screamed as she came running into the
kitchen. "What do we do?"
"Are you ready? OK. Well, first we need to make
sure we have all our ingredients together. Can you read them off for me?"
A few seconds. That's how long the "magic"
lasted. As she scanned the ingredients list, her face scrunched up.
"Eggs? There are eggs in the sweet potato
"Yep." How else could it get so fluffy?
"I don't like eggs."
"Well, you don't like them by themselves. But
eggs are in lots of stuff you like to eat."
"Really? Like what?"
"Cake, for example. Eggs are an ingredient
"They are?" Then, "OK, well I'll try it."
More reading. More scrunching.
"Cinnamon? I don't like cinnamon."
"There's just a tiny bit in there. You will
barely be able to taste it," I said, then quickly, "I think the next ingredient is brown sugar. Have
you ever had brown sugar before?"
"Here, try some."
Our ingredients assembled, it was time to get
down to business. I explained the first thing we needed to do was mash the
sweet potatoes. More scrunching.
As she began, she commented, "I can't believe I
ever ate this stuff."
"When you were a baby, sweet potatoes were one of
your favorite things!"
"I bet they didn't look like this."
"No, they had already been mashed."
"This is gross," she said. "Can I go play?"
And, that was it. The whole experience lasted, what, five minutes? Not exactly the making of magical holiday moments either of
us had envisioned.
yet, during Thanksgiving dinner my child proudly announced to everyone she had helped
me make the sweet potato casserole. As she ate it, she leaned over and whispered
in my ear, "Mommy, you are going to make this again for Christmas, aren't you?