Two fried eggs.
Every morning before school, I make my teenage son two fried eggs.
It takes me all of about five minutes, but in this season of life, those fried eggs have come to represent so much more.
Being the mom of teenagers is challenging. But, being the mom of a teenage boy has it’s own unique struggles.
He is way taller than me and wears size 11 shoes, but when I look at him I still see my little guy. The one who went on walks with me everyday, insatiably curious about the world and everything in it, fascinated by every rock and delighted if we happened upon any insects along the way.
I was a master wooden train track builder, ready to come to the rescue with just the right piece if he was struggling to get everything to connect so Thomas the Tank Engine could safely roll along his merry way.
When his plastic toy phone broke, I was the one who suggested we take it apart to see what was inside. Little did I know that this would spark a lifelong interest in that boy for taking apart electronics to figure out how they work and that my garage would be filled with circuit boards.
I remember when my kids were little and I would moan and groan about how exhausting it was day in and day out and older moms with older children would say, “Just wait until they’re teenagers!” and inside I would be thinking “Oh surely it can’t be nearly as tiring and complicated as it is now!” and making mental notes to never, ever, ever for the love of all that is good and holy, say that to a mom of young kids when my own kids were older.
And yet, here I am. I am THAT mom of older kids and I’ve never had to bite my tongue quite so much in my life.
Because, this season is hard! Really hard! It’s a different kind of exhausting (praise Jesus that I don’t have to ever potty train anyone again!) but it’s still exhausting and overwhelming and frustrating and frankly kind of scary.
Because you realize that the magnitude of the decisions made at this stage (both their decisions as teenagers and our decisions as parents) is enormous and the potential consequences are so much greater.
Because I used to be worried about keeping him alive when he would want to leap off the highest part of the playground and now I’m worried about keeping him alive as he drives off in his car.
Because suddenly you go from teaching them how to share a toy to teaching them what to do if someone tries to show them pornography.
Because you only have this little window of time to make adjustments and corrections before they are launched out into the world.
BUT, just like the years when he was little and I was exhausted from chasing him around all day, it also has these absolutely beautiful moments. Moments of laughter and amazingly insightful discussions. Moments that give you a glimpse of the incredible man he is going to be.
A son will naturally pull away from his mom. I tell him all of the time that he is just doing what he is supposed to be doing by growing up but that doesn’t make it easy for me as his mama.
So, I make him fried eggs every morning.
It’s such a simple thing and yet both of us know, deep down inside, that it’s about more than just eggs.
He could get his own breakfast. He could even whip up his own eggs each morning. He knows how to do that.
But, when I make those two fried eggs for him, it’s a reminder that no matter what else is going on in this challenging season of his life, I’m always there for him. Always aware that there is so much coming at him all of the time and trying to think of how I can make sure that our home is his haven. Always his mom even if he towers over me.
I believe that there is so much security in knowing that there are things you can count on when everything around you feels so new and uncharted. When your hormones seem to shift with the wind and you have one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood.
And as he gains independence from me, making him eggs every morning reminds me of how much I love this role as caretaker…as nurturer…as mom.
Someday, he won’t come down the stairs in the morning, groggy and bleary eyed. He won’t shuffle into the kitchen and plunk down on the stools and smile at me while I pull out the frying pan.
So, I’ll keep making him two fried eggs every day for as long as he wants them.
Because, while it’s definitely his love language right now, I’m thinking it might be kind of mine too.
My 30 year old son surprised me on Mother’s Day by visiting from out of town. He and his wife and coming for Memorial Day weekend so I had no idea he would come for Mother’s Day too. It did so much good for this momma’ heart. I miss those days so much sometimes but I see how strong and settled he is now. How happy he and wife precious little wife are and I’m so very thankful that I can look back with fond memories of days just like you spoke of. As a mom In this stage of life, I would say to a mom in your stage, “just soak every second of every minute in that you can.” Life is but a vapor. Blessings.
Mimi Matthews Particular Passions says
I hear you, mama. I still make my 16-year-old daughter’s toast because, she says, I do it better. I know it’s just cuz I love her. 🙂
Well said, those beautiful moments are gone before we know it. I have 2 daughters, 1 calls everyday and sometimes more than once. Which I’m glad she still calls and feels the need to. Our other daughter doesn’t call as often, but at least once a week usually. I love the time to visit with each one. Enjoy all the special time you have with him before he moves on to the next chapter in his life.
Rebekah steffen says
Thx so much for that simple reminder of nurturing my boy:) I make him scrambled eggs almost every morning 🙂 loved the story. It was beautiful. Thx again
Michele (Finch Rest) says
This made me cry.
Oh, childhood- that elusive fast moving season……………enjoy each and every morning he is with you. They’re gone much too soon.
I am going to go Facetime my girls now. Oops, I mean women. When did that happen? I blinked, then it was there.
Pamela Hans says
I am also a Mom of a grown 37 year old married son with a son of his own. Oh how I long for those days when he would hold my hand and say that he would ALWAYS want to hold my hand. Of course, I knew that wasn’t true but I wanted to believe it was. Now he was a lovey wife who holds his hand and shares his life and I’m so happy for that. I’m happy he’s settled and living a productive, good life. I was a single Mom and certainly didn’t always have time to appreciate all those little moments because I was trying to keep us all afloat. I had absolutely no family at all and everything was on my shoulders. There is great sadness now looking back and wishing I had treasured more of those special moments. I’m so proud of both of my children, a girl and a boy. I am 69 now and hope so much that can find it in their hearts to forgive all I wasn’t able to do and try and remember that they were my greatest love and accomplishment in this lifetime.
At The Picket Fence says
Pamela it sounds to me like you were an amazing mom and that there is nothing your son needs to forgive! As I’m sure he is experiencing now as a parent, we’re all just doing the best we can and judging by how he has turned out I think you can let go of any guilt you feel and take comfort in the fact that he is happy and settled. Guilt is something we always fight as moms/women but just remember that it doesn’t come from the Lord. I pray you can feel peace and enjoy this season of life as a grandmother. Blessings, Vanessa
Beautiful story. Enjoy this special time with him because as you are seeing it certainly goes by fast. My youngest is now almost 24 and in grad school. Fortunately, he and his brother are in grad school at the same University but almost a 7 hour drive from us. That makes me feel better that they are together but in one year the oldest will be done and he will still have 4 years left.
Fortunately, he still calls looking for input as he calls it:) We have such great conversations. Even about girls he is meeting.
My brother once told me when they get ready to leave for college or just go on to work after high school they really need mom now and not mommy. I’m understanding more and more exactly what he means. Just wait until you give his heart to the woman he falls in love with. We are blessed with a daughter in law of almost one year. When they were engaged three years ago I told her I could have not given his heart to a more amazing woman.
Julie Briones says
Thank you for sharing, Vanessa. TOTALLY understand where you are in life right now. 🙂 And, thank you for being transparent, and not being afraid to say ‘pornography’. I remember, 11 was VERY hard with my boy (hormones and the sins that accompany hormones often start kicking in at this time) , and then 17 was REALLY hard (a friendship with an unsaved girl tested his Faith, and what he REALLY believed). It was really only ‘hard’ in my eyes. So many more parents were going through so much more! My son was dealing with ‘normal’ sin issues, but he was such an easy guy, the seasons he went through seemed HUGE to me, at the time. I was (and still am) VERY thankful that he loved the Lord and wanted to please Him because he loved Him!
My son’s favorite time was when he went to bed. He loved for me to sit on his bed and just let him talk. Sometimes, it took him a little while to open up, but he told me to always wait for him… and I did, and then he would open up. 🙂 At 27, he still talks about those bedtime talks, and how much he appreciated them. (BTW, I’ve been a single-again parent since my son was 5 and daughter was 2). I’m so thankful that the Lord gave me the grace to ‘minister’ to my son (and daughter) in little ways, like bedtime talks. And, He’s giving YOU the same grace! How good He is, isn’t He? Praise HIM!
BTW, I’m REALLY glad I don’t have to potty train again, too! I *always* say that potty training might have been the hardest thing to do in parenting (second to the ‘balance act’ you have to learn as parenting shifts to coaching when they are adults). 😉
Thanking the Lord for your posts, sweet sister!
Thanks for this article. My son will be 15 years old next week and is more than capable of getting his own breakfast but I still do it every school day. Sometimes I wish he’d just make the effort to look after himself a bit, but then I know he’d never add fruit to the cereal or have a drink…you’ve reminded me that it’s actually a blessing that I even have him and I should remember that I actually love serving him. I need to remember to enjoy what opportunities I have left to do that!