Today’s guest post is from Emily of Defining Delicious. You may remember her from her True Beauty feature a while back. As I mentioned then, she’s a fiery spirit with a passion for superb food and great writing. I’ve asked her to talk today about how she combines those when it comes to her kids. Enjoy!
People always ask me how I got into writing about food. I find it to be such a hard answer to give. “Well, I love to eat?” It’s almost as hard as when I am asked, “So what is your favorite restaurant?” These questions give me an urge to give more of a speech about life, how my parents used to live without electricity and make homemade tofu, that one time I shook Thomas Kellers’ hands and they felt like soft pastry pillows. Food is oddly a topic I get geeky over. I can talk about the evolution of apple pie for hours, the chefs that are up and coming, the reason San Francisco is my favorite food city, for days. Food is a medium that excites me; it makes my eyes sparkly. When we start to go on tangents, and something outside of ourselves takes over, that’s what I call passion. As a single mother of two, I am always looking for ways to share this passion of mine with my children. I started out poaching their pears when they were toothless, and now that they are both a bit older, we can make ‘meals’ together. Although, I can only hope that someday we can travel and eat together with mutual sparkly-infused eyes. I think there are some lessons in sharing and cultivating passions with our loved ones that I have learned along the way, here are a few for you to chew on…
1. The balance
I love when my kids light up too, that fire underneath it all, the bursting curiosity about something that they are connecting to. It seems like kids have it more than we adults, but then again they don’t have to worry about taking out the trash or doing the laundry,they get to live pure passion in-between naps and bedtime. I see being a parent as an orchestrator of this passion, a mere muse to allow this passion to grow as it may. I see parenting as a mission to ensuring that childhood is full of crayons, bubbles, pizza, slumber parties, finger paints, swinging and singing through life. All while learning how to live in the world with others (there’s the catch). The learning that goes along with how to share those crayons, that bubbles sometimes pop, that not all pizza is plain cheese with no pepper, that slumber parties don’t happen every night, that finger paints are not edible, and that swinging and singing can’t happen during dinner time. Yes, aren’t we all learning about balancing the fun and passion with the structure? I think of childhood as a time to sample and allow for our children to find out for themselves what makes them tingly with joy and burst with exciting energy – all while intermingling with toothbrushing, naps, and bed time. We really don’t have to do much to make them passionate, just watch, learn, and give a lot of cuddles along the way. Much easier said then done, but allowing the ones we love to explore on their own, is a practice in and of itself.
2. We don’t all love the same things…
I do love food and want to celebrate what I love with my kids, you know, share the joy. Yet to both of my kids the extent of our shared ‘culinary bliss’ often leads to a messy kitchen and someone fighting over who gets to stir the eggs. I have learned to surrender to the fact that we don’t all love the same things, and sharing a passion is not as important as living with it, with all your might. Even those who are closest to us, old or young, may not fully get your particular passion, but that’s ok, as they have something that get’s them all fierry eyed. I think the fact that I live and breath my passion is enough of a ‘teacher’ for my kids. I lead the example that your passion can be your profession, and leading that example is something that I wish to instill – no matter what that their passion(s) turn out to be.
3. Things change….
That being said, I certainly hope that Charlie (my three-year-old boy) doesn’t love Spiderman for the rest of his life, or wants to wear the Spiderman crocs he refuses to take off on his wedding day. As much as I cringe at times that my kid is obsessed with an action hero, especially when I have peace signs planted on every corner of my house, I am cool with the fact that his passion may change, will change, and will grow along the way, without my trying to change or control that process. Maybe he will write the next Charlotte’s Web, or become a wall climber, or maybe he will grow-up studying spiders along the Amazon, or maybe he will find his passion to be surfing or turtles or computers? Whatever it may be, I know that a passion is not a one way street. My passion for food is intermingled with my passion for connection with others, fashion, travel, advocacy, and so on, food is the umbrella topic, but there is a slew of other things that I love too. It’s always growing, changing and expanding. As we grow, we change, it’s not so scary when you learn to embrace it. Although, I am confident I will someday crave the spiderman days, I am also confident I will smile with pride at whatever transpires along the way.
At the end of the day, all we as parents have to do is find that sparkle within us (again, MUCH easier said then done). We have to cultivate our own passions and don’t forget to share them with our kids, let them know it’s ok to live outside the box, and don’t forget to sing and dance along the way.
For more about food, travels, and passion please visit me at Defining Delicious dot com. I will be venturing to FEAST Portland, as well as Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard Owners’ Dinner and Mobile Om class all this September to explore this food city, and would love to share that with all of you. On that note, every mom and dad needs some time to get away and eat somewhere special, I would love to treat one lucky reader of Haute in Texas to a $100 gift card to explore Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard.
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Emily Reynolds is the proud founder of Defining Delicious, a food and beverage publicity firm in San Antonio, Texas that, in just four years, has become the go-to firm for restaurants, bars, and culinary events looking to make a name for themselves. Concurrently, Emily is a freelance writer and expert in the field of flavor. She is extremely passionate about healthful, delicious food and is excited to be at the forefront of the food revolution taking place in San Antonio.