One night when my boy was a newborn, and I was bouncing him to sleep, it dawned on me that a kid should be brought up having a stable of classics that he or she can sing by heart. The epiphany was spurred by my inability to recall any song at all in its entirety. Still, I had achieved a second degree blackbelt in swaddling, I could manage schooling the boy in a few old standards.
Eventually I came to the same conclusion about cooking: I suppose if a boy can’t scramble an egg by adulthood, he’s been done a disservice. This skill is handy in so many instances, a few of which I have no intention to disclose to the child. He’ll figure it out. But when I talk about preparing an egg, I mean doing it well: creamy curds, well seasoned, and rolled onto a warm dish. Do it that way for someone and they’ll know you’re capable of caring.
Eventually I realized I knew all the words to the national anthem, so I started there. He sings it in the shower these days. That and Auld Lange Syne -I imagine him crooning that one while meticulously tending eggs in one of those communal college kitchens, just after midnight, for a few uninitiated friends.