We picked Truman up early from school Friday and headed to Memphis for the annual Walker-Warren Christmas dinner. We had much cause to celebrate – my sister got engaged. “The missing piece,” my father said. Translation: we don’t have to worry about her anymore. Well, I suppose we’ll always worry about each other, but you know … So we load Truman in the car with his backpack and his rest towel (home for washing) and his Spiderman lunchbox and he is talking nonstop, like he does when he is truly excited. He is thrilled about seeing the family and the presents he will receive later in the evening, but most of all he is excited because he has made us a gift and, he says, “It’s Ok, I decided you can open it now.” Meaning right now, because he cannot even wait for me to get buckled, so I reach around to the backseat and grab the package that’s wrapped in paper he decorated himself. I’ve seen my share of daycare-made gifts before so I was expecting to gush at whatever adorable painting or photo or ornament it was, but by God, his teacher flat-out floored me with this one. It was a cookbook made up or recipes thought up by each child. The kids wrote out their recipes, then typed them into the computer and then drew a picture to accompany it. The teachers did some minor translation. It was just about the cutest and most heart warming thing I believe I’ve ever laid eyes on. Honest.
Some recipes were for Froot Loops (which, thankfully, the teacher had translated to be spelled correctly rather than by the name on the box) or Lucky Charms. Some had hamburgers or spaghetti. My darling son’s recipe was for Marshmallow Mash.
We were told during Kindergarten orientation that they would be teaching the kids to spell phonetically and that we may not understand what our children have written, but this phonetic spelling helps them become better writers and readers. Considering I never learned phonics as a child and I am a severely poor speller, I thought the practice ingenious.
My son was so truly proud of the cookbook that he had me read the entire book – recipes and all – to him right then and there in the car. He also pored through it a few dozen times before we made it to our destination. Then he took it straight to Grandma and showed off his fine work, and later showed the book off to the rest of the family. He had us read it to him as a bedtime story, and the minute we got home he wanted to make a recipe from the book. “It will either be my recipe or someone else’s,” he said. And, big surprise, he landed on Marshmallow Mash. Amazingly, we had all ingredients on hand and I let Truman prepare his super sweet concoction. He devoured proudly.
We’re going to tape him on the Flip the next time he makes it because it’s just about the cutest damn thing you’ll ever see. And yes, I’m being frightfully biased, but it’s a mother’s license to gloat and your right to ignore it.