My son made stew today. Yep, delicious, savory, tender beef stew. Mouthwatering aromas of garlic and onion and bay leaves, simmering in the browned richness of beef. It tickled my nose for several hours, before I finally grabbed a big spoon and dipped in for a taste.
I barely noticed my burned tongue under the rich meaty goodness.
You might think that because my 11 year-old son made stew – I am a wonder woman. Superwoman, even. But I’m not. I am not even extraordinary. I am just a mom. A mom who gets weary of the work of just being a mom.
When all my kids were small, I’d look at moms with older kids, and see them doing lots of work, and I’d think to myself – ‘well, that must be nice!’ 😉
I had this idea that moms of older kids could pick and chose what work they did, and let the kids do the rest. That somehow the older kids would get up and go cook, bake, clean and launder without any help from mom.
I find that it is a different sort of work, for sure. Not as much diapering and burping and bathing and wiping noses and buckling carseats for the 157,000th time. No, it’s not as much that – but it is still work. I am just as busy or probably busier. Today, before the delicious aromas floated past my nose – hours before – there was work.
Yes, my kids can clean the bathroom, but I have to show them how – and re-show them how, because somehow the information gets lost if there is more than 1 week between cleanings. (More than 1 week for that child – I cleaned in between!) Yes, they can bake bars for the upcoming potluck, but I have to be nearby to tell them when the crust ‘looks done’, and ‘where to find a 1/2 cup of black pepper’ for the stew. (whew! Glad I caught that one! 😉 )
I had to explain what minced garlic was, and that you really must wash celery before chopping it.
I am not complaining. I am delighted to see them growing older and being able to follow a recipe (mostly), and do harder jobs and learn new skills. But it is not a walk in the park. It takes patience and perseverance and many do-overs before they get a new skill down really good. It is hard work, my dear fellow-mom. But I am convinced it pays off in the long run, so I keep doing it. I don’t want lazy, worthless, entitled kids. So I choose to keep putting in the hours now – working alongside them. Because in 5 or 10 years, they will know how to be productive, self-confident adults who know how to make good beef stew. 🙂