At the beginning of the year I set a goal to spend quality time, one on one, with each of my girls. I want my daughters to look back years later and have special memories that they can point to with just them and I, some defining moments if you will. So, a few weeks ago at the beginning of the summer we sat the girls down and asked them to think of things they’d like to do before the end of the summer. Riley of course because she loves books (as do I), wants to go to a bookstore, and she wants to go to Legoland. Olivia who loves adventure and loves to cook wants to take a cooking class and go to a fancy restaurant. London…well her answers were a little all over the place (she is only two after all). We created a plan and I plugged each of these into my calendar and Strides tracker (an app I use to track progress with habits or goals that are important). And that’s how I arrived at the Kroger Kids Master Chef class this morning at 10am.
The most remarkable thing about this morning’s time with Olivia was our conversation (or at least it was my favorite part because I got to learn so much about her! She’ll probably tell you her favorite part was actually cooking together). On the car ride over, we talked about everything from jewelry, clothes, favorite things, what she wants to be when she grows up, how I met her mother, you name it. She’s already pretty inquisitive, but when you get her alone, she can really surprise you with her pointed questions and remarks. When we arrived I was impressed with how quickly she dove into the process. I recently learned that she loves the Netflix show, Nailed It! so she’s looking to hone her chops as a young chef. Watching her mix her ingredients and try new foods I learned that she’s pretty fearless when it comes to trying new things. She even amended the recipe (we were making pasta salad) a bit once she tasted it to add more dressing.
On the car ride home I shared with her what I observed and asked her what she learned about herself from the experience. She noted that she had fun hanging out and cooking together with her daddy (which of course gave me the biggest grin of my day). But notice what she’ll remember: the experience itself. I could have spent all the time in the world telling her she’s a good chef, or telling her how much I believe in her dream, but it’s something about actually spending this specific time that I believe will make a mark down the line. She also was super excited about having her mom and sisters taste her food and let her know if she “nailed it” or “failed it”. We had a good conversation about what it means to fail at something and she learned a new word: innovate. All in all, while she may not remember the conversation, she’ll definitely remember the experience. Creating defining moments, that’s what I’m in the business of doing for my day job. It’s so cool to see how impactful it can be as a father.