As I slide it over your head, I smile at our lovely matching aprons, a gift from Nick's sister. They are something I'd wanted for us since before you were born, when I fantasized about the hours we'd spent together in the kitchen.
I start you off with a metal bowl and a wooden spoon and you stir, stir, stir while I pull out the ingredients. Together we scoop and pour, measure and stir, mix and laugh.
You have flour on your fingers and your nose, as you stand on the stool, your face barely reaching over the edge of the counter.
We wait for the cast-iron pan to heat, then together we watch our efforts turn into a perfect round pancake for you.
As I slide you into your seat, you shriek with delight, signing and yelling "ready" (although it sounds like "eddy"). You are trying to be patient to wait for your little pancake to cool, as you sign and say "hot."
Oh my sweet girl. It may take a little more work to include you in the kitchen, and often you end up on the floor playing with kitchen tools, or when I am less patient, on the other side of the baby gate, hanging on and hollering at me. My cooking time has always been precious to me, something that centers me and calms my anxious nerves. I am so happy that I get to share it with you.