Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tacos and a leap of faith

My son is a bright, personable and extremely funny kid who also has a very kind and generous heart. He also has ADHD, along with some other alphabet soup disabilities. Often, he can present as a one-person study in contrasts and comparisons. Can I just say that life is never, ever dull?

Some days it is beyond frustrating just to get him out of bed, dressed, fed and functioning. Other times, on the really, really difficult days, I wonder if we'll ever have a normal life, and then I second guess everything I do or say as a mother. Then there are the other times -- which are becoming more frequent as he matures and settles into our family -- that our family life does feel "normal", or better yet, "typical" and joyful.

Yesterday was one of those days. No meltdowns (me or my son), he got to school on time, had a good day, finished his homework, and then my 6 year old declared that HE was going to cook dinner for his dad and I. He decided he wanted to make tacos for dinner, and insisted HE was going to cook them all by himself.

Hmm. The closest I've allowed him to "cooking", is making a PBJ or microwaving popcorn. This was a definite step up from that, but he was determined to do it. His handling RAW ground beef, CUT UP (aka for dicing) onions, and a sizzling frying pan on a RED-HOT stove burner sent my internal Mom's safety meter spinning wildly however.

We've never let him handle a knife, or use the stovetop, except when the burners are off and cool, as his impulses often override his safety - which accounts for our numerous ER trips where the hospital staff is on a first name basis with him. Sometimes, though, even as a parent of an ultra impulsive child, you have to foster independence and pride, and back off the protective bubble and maybe even let them singe their wings, but stand by with a fire-extinguisher and bandaids if needed.

So, I grounded my helicopter-mom impulses, took a leap of faith and let my son cook dinner (with my oversight of course, lest we have powdered-sugar tacos for dinner, or even worse, the fire department for dinner). He did an awesome job! He was quite proud and happy about his culinary accomplishment, and no house fires, burns or knife stabbings happened in the creation of "his" special tacos. We heaped on the praise, and let him know his were the best.tacos.EVER. Even my husband took one for the team. You see, tacos are also my husband's #1 -no-one-can-make-them-better-than-me-so-I-brag specialty.

I guess our son was watching his dad closer than anyone realized, and nearly replicated Dad's tacos step-by-step. Although, the use of Heinz 57 this time was "different", and shhhh... don't tell Dad, but these tacos were even better than his. ;-)

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