My oldest daughter did the most amazing thing the other day. I had taken my youngest daughter to ride horses and left my older two at home and on the way back I called them and asked what they wanted for dinner. We had a church activity to attend and were going to have to fix and eat dinner rather quickly. My eight-year-old said, "I can do dinner, Mom." I responded that she could certainly help when I got home. That was the end of the conversation and I was then thinking of the things I could cook that she could help with.
Imagine my surprise when I walked in the door and she announced that dinner was ready. The table was set, cooked scrambled eggs and ramen were on the table and she had a pot on to boil to cook green peas. She had done it all on her own. I'll admit that my first thought was worry about her doing it all unsupervised, but I looked at the table and the kitchen and was just proud that she had done it all on her own. The truly amazing part was that the table was completely set. Do you think she will set the table without complaint if I ask her and I'm cooking dinner? No way! But, when she was in charge, she did it all willingly.
In my experience, every new task my children undertake alone makes my heart skip a little beat as I imagine all the "what ifs". But, I truly believe that my job as a parent is to facilitate independence. And, I feel a great deal of pride in my children every time they are successful as doing something new on their own. This was a good day and she has since cooked even more.