There’s an old African Proverb that says “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” I’ve always believed it, but never have I been so grateful to have such a village. Me and my husband are surrounded with so many genuine people with such different talents in our circle. Not only do they have talents, but they are willing to share them, not just with us, but with our babies.
We met Lawrence by default about 6 years ago. His wife, Sherri and I became close friends and he in turn joined the family. At first glance, Lawrence doesn’t say too much. He is jolly and pleasant to be around and will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. It doesn’t hurt that the man can also cook. Well, I guess that’s an understatement since that’s how he makes his living. It’s not uncommon for him to come to our home, pull out the pots and pans and whip something up at a family gathering.
So when he offered a few months ago to come have a special pizza making date with Morgan and Garrett they were thrilled. In fact, Morgan refused to let him forget about his commitment and when she called him on Wednesday, he made his way to my home with a bag full of ingredients that Friday.
As soon as the door bell rang, they beelined to open it. “Uncle Lawrence, uncle Lawrence is here,” Morgan yelled. “Yea,” Garrett replied. Now, while I was excited for them, I was curious to see how he managed two toddlers in the kitchen. Lord knows, they drive me nuts and I have to get prayed up with liters full of patience just to get their help making a salad.
But they were on their best behavior. They washed hands, put their listening ears on, got all dressed up in their kiddie chef gear and Lawrence went to work teaching. They listened, they tasted and they watched his every move. And although their was an occasional battle over whose turn it was to knead the dough or spread the cheese for the most part they got along and the team approach worked.
Since, I watched from the next room, I have no idea the temperature of the oven or how long it had to bake. But I do know that they sat right in front of the oven glaring in its window until they heard it beep. “It’s ready, it’s ready,” Morgan sang. “ Oh yea, oh yea,” she continued as she danced around.
As he moved it to the top of the stove, they could barely wait for it to cool. Luckily, preparing the table for the lunch they made was a long enough distraction. “Well, “ come look at your work before I cut it,” he said and they both ran back to the kitchen. He smiled as he cut their slices and they smiled as they doled out one to each parent.
I believe that homemade cheese pizza was gone in minutes, and while he didn’t stay to watch them devour it, that one hour he spent with them will last a lifetime.