I am going to rant here for a few minutes, so if you do not want to hear it then stop reading now! But if your curiosity gets the better of you & you want to know what I am ranting about, then, by all means, read on.
I heard a story this morning of a family in need of some compassionate service (in the way of meals brought in) for a few weeks. In the midst of this story a statement was made that the teenage child in the home did not even know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Are ya kidding me?!?! Seriously??? That made me think back and have cause to be thankful.
Growing up on a ranch, I was an outside girl. Every moment of every day, when I had the chance, I was outside; playing trucks on the hillside, building forts along the creek (hiding from the pigs that roamed out there), making a playhouse in the loft of the old barn or riding my horse or the motorbike out thru the fields. Every chance I got I was out 'helping' my dad irrigate, drive tractor or just tagging along. Even when we had 'work day' for school I would gladly work out in the yard cleaning up the bushes and flower beds. Then when I was 11 my world changed a bit. My big brother, who was on his mission, was diagnosed with cancer. My parents were gone for quite a while. When that happened, I got to go stay with neighbors or friends (that was FUN!). But once Mike was brought back to Salt Lake for treatments my dad came back home and Mom stayed down in Salt Lake with Mike. Since Dad was home, I could stay back at home, but then I needed to learn how to do some of the basics around the house, like laundry and cooking. Mom would write me letters in detail, explaining how to sort the clothes (I pretty much already knew how to do that from just watching her) and how much soap to put in and what settings to wash and dry them on. Sometimes my Grandmother was there to do it for us, but most of the time she was up in Hat Creek with Grandpa. Life had to go on, you know.
When it came to cooking, I cringe now to think of the things my poor dad had to eat. I knew how much he loved meat, potatoes, and gravy. I so wanted to cook that meal for him to show him how grown up I was. Now, we made our gravy a little different than most people. It was a white gravy made from bacon grease, flour and milk. I called a neighbor/cousin to ask her how to do it, but she was a little unsure also so....I made the attempt. I knew you melted the bacon grease in the fry pan, stirred in the flour, then added the milk. What I didn't know was you needed to let the bacon grease and flour brown for a few minutes to break down the flour and make a paste. Then add the milk, stirring as you go. I just pretty much did it all together at once. The gravy was horribly lumpy! The meat didn't turn out too bad, but I'm sure it was very dry and lacked any seasoning at all. Bless my sweet dad's heart, he still raved over it, how great it was going to taste. As we sat down to the table to eat, a knock came at the door. In walked our neighbor, my dad's best friend. "We were just sitting down to eat. Would you like to join us?" said my dad. All the while I was trying to catch his eye to tell him NO! I knew the meal was not fit to feed a friend. Of course he eagerly said yes and sat down with us. I was mortified! Nothing was ever said about that meal being awful, or horrible or inedible, but right then I decided I was going to make sure I knew how to cook better to make it up to my dad!
Now for my rant....when I got to college I was shocked at how many girls I met who had no clue how to do ANYTHING for themselves. They did not even know how to go to the store to buy personal items for themselves, let alone turn on the stove, make ramen noodles or wash their clothes. The dorm mother had to teach them. I must say, they were extremely excited to be learning these things, but at the age of 18 they didn't know how???!!! Really??? How sad. I made another vow to myself that my children would not be in that boat! They would leave home at least knowing the basics, if nothing else.
By the age of 5, Brittany at least knew how to turn off the stove if I was outside & couldn't get in right then. She also was skilled at vacuuming! By the age of 9 Mataya could follow a cookie recipe and make cookies all on her own when I was too tired after a day of teaching at school and was pretty much passed out on the couch. BTW-I would use that on my Foods students, who were 7th and 8th graders. I told them it was pretty sad my 9 year-old could show them up when it came to making cookies.
On her mission, Kim is very knowledgeable about how to live on a budget and know how to prepare simple, but good foods that don't cost a lot. At college, KC is the apartment chef and doing an excellent job at it.
So...Mothers....teach your children the basics! Teach them how to be independent while you are there to watch them so, heaven forbid, you don't have to do it thru a letter and let them have to learn it on their own. Granted, trial and error are great tools, but it sure is nice to have mom stand alongside you, helping and giving pointers. Mission presidents, future spouses, mission companions, roommates and your own children will thank you many times over if you do. I promise!
End of rant. Now you can return to your regular programming. :) Have a great, teaching day!