Growing up, I was never the domestic type. My dream was multiple careers, not multiple kids. I brushed off attempts by my Mom to teach me how to cook and clean and iron. I showed no interest in decorating or design. Heck, I barely knew how to do laundry. In college, I changed my sheets at the end of every semester and called it good.
So it came as a complete shock to me, when, a few years before I had a baby, I started to feel a pull to watch cooking shows on HGTV. (This was before the Food Network. Do you remember a time before the Food Network?)
I worked an evening shift at the time, so I watched these mysteriously alluring programs while I ate lunch at home. And something inside me started to change. For the first time in my life, I found myself thinking things like, “Wouldn’t it be fun to make some artisan bread with fresh rosemary this weekend?” Or maybe, “I should just sear a steak for dinner and serve it with arugula and homemade vinaigrette.”
Never mind that dinner most nights was at Rubio’s or In-n-Out during my 30-minute break away from the newsroom. I was captivated by the sights and the sounds and even the simplicity of a life at home.
It seems silly now, but that softening in my spirit was my first baby step (pun intended) toward motherhood. Suddenly, the idea of domesticity was enticing to me. I felt a yearning in my soul to create a home and to fill it with love and laughter – and yes, maybe a seared steak or two.
I always smiled at the end of each cooking show, when the host would take a big bite of his or her completed dish. Inevitably, it was divine. Their eyes would roll back in their head, their speech would momentarily stop. Only groans and sighs could communicate the bliss that was going on in their mouths. Picture Rachel Ray sampling one of her 30-minute meals. “Yum-o.”
I often wondered if the food was really that good. I mean, once or twice I understand. I made some pumpkin bread yesterday that I can’t stop eating. “Oh my word, that’s good bread,” I enthused all afternoon to no one in particular. “Wow. Seriously good bread.”
But every day? Every recipe? Every time? Come on. I mean, what are the odds?
Earlier this week, I sat with Teyla, my ten-month-old, as she opened doors and pushed buttons on her tiny kitchen. I watched her eyes shine with curiosity and wonder. She picked up a plastic green triangle with her chubby little hand and stretched it out toward my face. I instinctively leaned down and pretended to take a big bite. “Oooommmmm. Yum, yum,” I cooed, my eyes widening with mock ecstasy.
And then I smiled.
Huh. What do you know.
It really is amazing. Every day. Every time.
Kelly also blogs at Love Well.