gail schimmel

The blog of writer Gail Schimmel: A bit of writing, a bit of parenting, a bit of thinking and some book reviews

Childhood tasks

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at my mother's knee

From when I was three, my mom worked. But she arranged it so that she got home quite early in the afternoon, and a lot of the time that we spent together involved me helping her with the things that she loved to do – gardening (as we are doing in the main photo) and cooking.

There were certain tasks that were mine for as long as I can remember. When we planted seedlings, it was my job to draw lines with my fingers to mark where the seeds should be, and to put the little protective hats on the seedlings. And when we cooked, my tasks increased with my age. But the kitchen job that was always mine was topping and tailing the beans. With my small fingers and thumb nail, I would remove the top and end of the bean. If you do it right – which is…

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