When Your Kids Grow Up on You

When life hits you right in the face


Last weekend we bought our youngest son a new bed.  He grew out of his twin size bed….feet hanging off the end, blankets on the floor every night, no room to move…grew out of his bed. I was excited to set it up with him and re arrange his room to accommodate his new furnishings. During the process we moved a shelf with his books. Perusing through them he asked if he still needed them in his room. The collection included everything from “Alex Rider” to the “Frog and the Toad” to his sketch book.  My answer? “Yes, it’s good to have something at your finger tips when you feel bored or curious”. However, when I stepped back and took it all in, something inside me hit me. His room was no longer a little boys room. It had transformed itself into a young mans bedroom.

It was like a rush of cold air to my eyes and I teared up a bit as I took in the scene of him putting in the finishing touches and arranging his room to his liking.  This kid is taller than me and is no longer “my baby”. He is truly a young man.  I stepped away so he wouldn’t see the tears come to my eyes as I panicked. “Holy smokes, I am almost out of time to teach him everything he needs to know!!!!!!”.  He still needs to learn how to cook three “real” meals, he needs to learn how to tip at a restaurant, he still needs to learn how to change a tire, and he still needs to learn how to jump a car battery!! Does he know how to talk to a girl? Does he have his social skills sharpened? Are his manners in tact? AAGGHHH!  I have run out of time!!”

OK, take a second and take a deep breath. I may have slid dangerously close to the deep end there. I have just a few years to fit that all in. What have I been doing with my time? No really? This boy has so much to learn…..time to get to work.


Perhaps your scenario was different. Yet that sense that you didn’t accomplish all you wanted and intended to do. Suddenly, you can see the deadline looming like the light rushing toward you on a south bound train?  GULP!

It’s OK. Take another deep breath. We are going to be alright.

You see, all this time you’ve intended to accomplish this and that….you HAVE been taking steps in that direction. Take stock, you’re closer to doing what you wanted to do than a year ago, aren’t you? And if not, you can take that step today. Then tomorrow, you’ll be closer than you were yesterday.

I had/have this beautiful dream in which all my kids eat great, nutritious meals and avoid sugar as best they can. Ha! Remember, this is a DREAM. When the kids get to high school, I find it more difficult to get them to eat well.  They have more freedom, thus more access to more choices of food. I have a daughter that may or may not have an obsession with sugary caffeinated drinks that come in pretty cups with straws. In fact, she will get one anytime the opportunity presents itself. This, despite all the wonderful education I have so generously given to my kids at the breakfast/dinner table over the years. Can  you even believe it? But I digress. My dream may be a little crazy. I swear it’s like teenagers are wired to crave sugar. (Sugar is an addictive substance….once you have a taste you want more.Ever try to eat “just two” M&M’s?).  In addition, their school lunches (yes we still pack them) look like a commercial for processed foods. In my quest to bring wholefood nutrition to my household I made a compromise with the kids that we would still have SOME snack food available.  If I let my kids pack their lunches unsupervised, their bags are full of brightly colored empty calories in alluring packing. My heart cries a little bit on that one.

If I take a moment to focus, I realize that I have made progress in that direction.  The kids know the importance of protein and vegetables in their diet. They know that paying attention to what their gut is telling them is a way to tell if they have an intolerance. They also know what GMO means, how sugar is evil (as if they care),and how to cook at least one simple meal. See, I have made some progress. It’s not like I have squandered all my life as a mother, right? Whew!

In the mean time I’ll continue to kindly educate those kiddos about the importance of having nutrition at every meal. I can continue to show them that processed foods don’t provide much in satisfying the bodies need for solid nutrition. And perhaps when I am cooking they are taking note of the type of foods I use?  Which makes me remember…I need go teach that kid to cook something good.




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