When we were at the grocery store, Benjamin announced, "I want to fix dinner by myself." Now, he has previously fixed one dish by himself before: a combination of green beans, corn, and ham (that he'd shredded up). Not necessarily the worst dish a kid could have concocted on his own, except for the fact that he had added salt. A lot of salt. Lot's wife worth of salt. The whole thing tasted like a salt lick. With that meal in mind, I was hesitant to agree.
"What did you have in mind?" I inquired.
"Breakfast," he replied. Breakfast for dinner is one of our favorite meals and I agreed, on the condition that either I or his mom supervise him.
"One of you can watch, but I'm the one doing all the cooking," was his independent way of agreeing to my condition.
"So, what breakfast items are you going to want to fix since we'll need to pick them up while we're here?"
He decided he would fix bacon (his favorite), sausage links (mine), and French Toast. Not the healthiest of meals, but sometime you just go with it and know that you'll just have to walk it off (The same way I did when we got that dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We got them for "free" on national speak like a pirate day because Benjamin dressed like a pirate. Despite what they said, those doughnuts weren't free. Not really, since I paid for eating so many of them by having to add time to my daily walks).
So when it came dinnertime, Benjamin put on the apron and set to work - on the bacon first, of course.
If either my wife or myself made any suggestion, he kept telling us, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Like Fezzik the Giant said to Vizzini about his constant use of the word "inconceivable," (in one of my favorite movies The Princess Bride, which I can't believe turned 25 last week), I wanted to tell Benjamin, "I don't think that means what you think it means."
And while he was cooking, we weren't allowed to call him "Benjamin" but were to address him only as "Chef Benjamin." Always the dramatics.
After the bacon, he then fixed the sausage links and, then, finally, the French Toast. Since I'm normally the one who fixes dinner every night, it was nice not to have to (although I knew I'd be cleaning up after him).
I set the table before we all sat down, said the blessing, and began to eat what was a delicious meal. Watching us eat the food he'd prepared made Benjamin one proud chef and he kept asking, "So? How is it?"
When I told him it was delicious, he leaned over the table and told me, "Then kiss the cook." I did and then said, "I guess we'd better go take you to IHOP to put in your application now." He smiled.
It's funny to watch Benjamin growing up. He's always been one to say, "Let me do it myself" or "I can do it." And, most of the time, he can. He'll go up to a clerk in a store and ask them for exactly what he's looking for (especially in places like Radio Shack or Best Buy) or when he was younger and asked the principal about starting a science fair at the elementary school he went to or got her to make announcements for anyone who had old electronics that they didn't want anymore to bring it to school so he could have them (And they did. He ended up taking apart old radios to see how they worked). And I love him for it because it's part of who he is.