big brother pancakes

He’d been talking about it for weeks, but the night had finally come. Lucas had to prepare a dish to share with his home arts class the following day. Leading up to this evening, he’d had some pretty creative and lofty dreams. We dashed those in the name of sensibility, though, and he decided on German pancakes.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Lucas began his adventure after dinner. Although he did not want any help once we’d helped him check kitchen inventory, he asked if Ames could stay up past his bedtime to watch. It took him somewhere around two hours, but he produced enough cakes (more like crepes) to feed his class samples. He also stuck around to finish the job by rolling them up, packing them away, and cleaning the kitchen.

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It wasn’t monumental, but I think it was a big night for all of us. Lucas took several steps into new territory, several steps on his journey to adulthood. He’s not unfamiliar with a kitchen, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience cooking from scratch either. Every piece of this project was left up to him – finding the recipe, measuring the ingredients, finding the rhythm with the skillet. We raised the windows and literally just let him at it.

I sat and worked in the family room, smiling at the sounds of him blending and pouring and sizzling. He never once forgot Ames was there, either, ever sure to keep his little brother involved and safe from harm. While it took a lot of self-control to stay out of the kitchen, I’m so glad I did. It was a beautiful lesson for me, to stay out of the way and let him figure things out on his own. To see him do just that made me proud. To see him love our threenager so well during a potentially stressful process made me even prouder. And his pancakes? They turned out perfectly.

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