One Saturday, we went over to my parents’ house in the suburbs. It is like outing or a picnic of sorts for us because their house, my childhood home, is a considerable distance from the city.
In contrast to my city life, my parents’ home is a rather big bungalow with an expansive garden and a quiet neighborhood. We like going there, not just to visit my parents but to enjoy nature as well.
When we come here, it is my mother who cooks food most of the time. But that Saturday, we brought a kilo of bright pink spareribs, thinly sliced into 14 thin portions so that we don’t have to grill each slice for very long. My parents had been grilling their pork in their greaseless contraption for some time now but during this visit, I requested that they buy some charcoal for some good old traditional way of grilling pork. While my father built the fire, I cleaned the pork and salted it.
At the back of my mind, it was a deliberate effort for another learning opportunity, which are important for us homeschoolers. I wanted my daughter Dindin, who was turning 8 at that time (she’s now 8 because she just had her birthday), to learn to grill over open charcoal. Of course, the helper brought out the makeshift terracotta grill and my father had to fire up the coals, but it was Dindin who grilled every slice, fanning the coals to keep the flame burning.
After about 3o minutes, she was done grilling everything by herself. Her cheeks flushed pink from exposure to direct heat but she was so proud to have done it all by herself. And my father was very proud, too, that he kept telling about Din’s grilling several times throughout the night. You see, ever since I was small, my father did all of the grilling for the family and even during outings with friends and his office mates. My father is a patient and industrious man who never complained about such tasks so he was just so happy that after probably more than five decades, somebody relieved him of grilling duties. That is a bond between grandfather and granddaughter that could not be broken.
This is just one of the many practical things that we teach our children, as we want them to grow up armed with practical knowledge about life and living.