Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Gettin' Hot In Here

Hotness Story #1:
The Princessa has made a bunch of new friends. The only problem? They all think Mayhem is "hot." It TOTALLY squicks the Princessa out. Mayhem thinks it's hilarious. All of last week the running gag in the family was, "Is it hot in here? Oh it's Mayhem." He rolled with it and dished it back saying things like, "Don't touch that pan. It's hot like me. Oh yeah." Middle school is such an interesting time.

Hotness Story #2:
In an encounter with a totally different kind of hotness - Havoc got a chance to tour a real, working restaurant kitchen. We'd gone to the mall to sign him up for Cub Scouts and we passed this great kitchen store. We ducked in to gaze admiringly at all the cool utensils and pans. We were about to leave when in walked a man in a chef's jacket (Chef Benjamin, according to the elegant embroidery on his chest) speaking in French to a man in a suit. They began comparing glassware. Havoc's eyes were THIS BIG. "Mama, that's the first chef I've ever seen who wasn't animated." The chef caught Havoc's stare and came over to speak with us. I explained that Havoc wanted to grow up to be a chef and this was the first time he'd seen a real chef in person. Chef Benjamin said, "And I am French. A real French chef." Havoc said he'd just started studying French that week and offered a tentative, "Bonjour." Chef Benjamin smiled and quickly spoke to the man in the suit, who we learned was named Alex. Alex looked at his watch and nodded yes. Chef Benjamin bent down and asked Havoc if he wanted to take a tour of a real kitchen. Havoc's smile could not possibly have gotten bigger as he said he'd LOVE to. Alex took us down the way to a gorgeous, exotic fusion restaurant. We saw the sushi kitchen and the experimental kitchen where the chef was developing his new recipe for tiramisu. We met the dishwasher (=the heart of the kitchen) and the pastry chef who was making expresso cookies in a mixer that looked just like our Kitchen Aid would if it had been raised in Chernobyl. We met the sous chef and saw the pizza ovens. Havoc was following Monsieur Alex's directions exactly - stepping carefully and keeping his hands tucked close. We got near the grills and it was hot. Monsieur Alex told Havoc that he should be careful but not fearful of the heat. If he really wanted to be a chef then he needed to know that kitchens were HOT. "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Havoc assured Mr. Alex that he could take it! It was such an unexpected treat. They were so nice and encouraging - offering my child a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he will remember forever (no matter what he ends up becoming professionally.) Havoc could not wait to get home and tell everyone about it. When I kissed him goodnight, he told me his face hurt from smiling so hard. He also said that he really believed that one day he'd be a chef. "Mama, I have this feeling inside me that is so big. I can't imagine it ever going away." I told him that if that fire continued to burn in his belly then he'd be one of the most wonderful chefs ever. I also told him that if his fire burned dimmer later and he didn't want to be a chef professionally - he could continue to enjoy cooking for himself and friends for his whole life. It was a rewarding and wonderful skill and I'd support him at every level. He hugged my neck and said, "Cool, mom. But I just know this is what I'll do." And he fell asleep smiling.
We're writing a thank you note to Chef Benjamin and Mr. Alex this afternoon. I'm going to have to let Havoc do it mostly by himself because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to convey his smile in words - but I bet Havoc can do it.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Wow! What an amazing day! With all the stuff that you have been going through y'all deserved a wonderful - once in a lifetime - kind of day :)