I read an article on nytimes.com today, where the writer, Leslie Kaufman, discusses how to cook meals for entire family consumption with the understanding that certain younger members of the family will eat one thing out of the seven you bring to the table.
The one line that resonated with me was:
"I committed to cooking a family meal when my first son was born...not because of any psychology study about the well-being of children, but because it gave me comfort."
Cooking for la familia is a means by which I express my love. Even if we're having hot dogs, there will be fresh fruit and maybe a vegetable or legume snuck in there. I put a lot of thought into balancing flavors and food groups. By cooking, I feel as though I'm extending a part of myself to those who consume the meal. Through the meal, I'm saying, "I want you to enjoy this meal in the present, and it's okay if you don't remember it in the future. When you eat what I prepare, I want you to feel comforted, loved, relaxed."
I work full-time, so my time spent at work is vague and incomprehensible to the minis. It doesn't make an impact, yet, to discuss things like wages, inflation and the cost of living. But if I can manage to assemble dinner daily - okay, we get takeout every so often - I'm hoping that I'm establishing a ritual of sorts. Long after they've left for college or other pastures, they will retain some internal memory of mama providing something to eat almost every day. It'll be part of my legacy.