This summer our girls are easing into greater independence. Sometimes it comes in the form of a request to walk here or there by themselves. Other times it comes when they announce they've done this or that in the house without being asked.
By far the hardest part of this new independence is teaching them to cook. It's not the constant worry that they are going to set our house on fire. I'm sure I'll worry about that long after they have their own houses. It's the mess they make while cooking and the mess they create when they clean-up.
Today the girls decided to make pancakes. As the blond twin poured the pancake mix from the box, she managed to hit the bowl, floor countertop and stovetop. I just stood there, wide-eyed at her ability to get pancake mix in so many places when she's standing an inch from the bowl. The brunette twin saw me staring and said, "Mom, maybe it's best not to watch."
She sent me outside with my laptop to work, telling me it was a beautiful day to work outside. They finished their pancakes, which made me wish I hadn't already eaten breakfast because the pancakes smelled so good. The blond twin came outside to tell me they were done and the kitchen was clean.
The brunette twin was right. It is a beautiful day to work outside. I'm going to stay here as long as possible so I don't go into the kitchen to see the pancake aftermath. Sometimes becoming independent person is a messy process and we'll all be better off if I allow them to earn their self-confidence in the kitchen without watching every step. I compare it to the old story about making sausage. The end result is tasty, but you don't want to watch the process.