I don't think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.
As part of our Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations, we made pies - some for a potluck for our family and then today we made some for a friend serving a post-thanksgiving Thanksgiving meal at a shelter.
In the time it would have taken me to make a dozen pies, my four kids managed four beautiful handmade-with-love pies. They were involved at every step of the process, from picking the apples to peeling, chopping, measuring, mixing, cooking, rolling, filling and decorating the pies. And then they waited, somewhat impatiently, for them to finish baking so we could deliver them to a friend who would deliver them to another friend, who would deliver them to the shelter and serve those humble pies to the shelter's guests.
As we were eating our dinner tonight, my kids wondered if someone somewhere right that minute was enjoying a slice of handmade-with-love apple pie. If they liked the cinnamon and vanilla in the filling and the sugar sprinkled on the crust. If their piece had the heart shaped cut-out - the one that was sort of off center by mistake. If the pie tasted like the ones their mama had made for Thanksgiving so many years ago. They wondered if having pie would help them feel that someone cared about them. And then they agreed that making the pies to share was one of the things they were most grateful for this Thanksgiving and asked if we could do it again.
I am amazed and grateful that helping kids feel empowered and connected to the world around them can sometimes be as easy as making pie.