WHENEVER THEY SEE ME heading toward the kitchen, my granddaughters, ages 5 and 3, run to grab their aprons and hold them out for me to tie the strings. They know that something is up — something that might possibly involve mixing with a fork, cracking an egg, patting down dough, peeling carrots (maybe just holding onto my hand while I wield the dangerous peeler), or doing something entirely new. It’s gotten to the point where, if I am in a hurry to get a meal on the table or know I can make something faster or better without their “help,” I sneak into the kitchen and work as quietly as I can before they figure out that I am there.
Of course, it isn’t always benevolent, creative togetherness. Sometimes they couldn’t care less. Sometimes they are busy drawing or riding a bike through the living room or throwing all their toys on the floor or teasing each other in that special sibling form of love. But clearly they have decided that the combination of Grandma and kitchen spells opportunity.