A Love Letter to My Spring Break Kitchen Staff

Kitchen Diary: Anne in South Carolina

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Spring break used to mean relaxation, with only the occasional fleeting thought about homework, or tests I would need to take the following week. When I finished school and had children of my own, it became something entirely different. These days? Spring break means stealing a few days at the beach, maybe a long weekend, and spending the rest of the week trying to keep the kids out of the way so I can catch up on work. Fun times!

In recent years, I've had plenty of help, and I didn't even have to interview anyone for the job.

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Teenaged boys are awesome. (Which is not to say teenaged girls aren't. My brilliant niece is a smart, funny, fashionable and beautiful artist, but I live with teenaged boys.) And my oldest teenager, much like his peers, likes to eat. Like his mother, he likes to eat in peace, and he has learned that cooking breakfast, or making a sandwich, or serving a bowl of pasta for his seven-year-old brother will make his own meal much more peaceful. (Have you ever tried to eat a sandwich in front of a hungry seven-year-old? I don't recommend it.)

And there is no more peaceful sound to me than my children in the kitchen, cooking and eating breakfast together, and then deciding to go out and play. I count my blessings when I hear that they are actually inviting their seven-year-old brother — who would love to spend the day watching movies, much to the detriment of his growing brain — outside to play basketball or soccer. They are better at parenting than I am.

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This spring break, I've hidden in my room, waiting for the older boys to make sure their little brother gets dressed and eats a balanced breakfast. They may not make him put his napkin in his lap. They might not even notice when he cuts his egg-in-a-hole with his elbows waving in the air, like a chicken. But I can teach him that later. For now, I'll stay in my room and get some work done, sneaking out for a cup of coffee when no one's looking, giving thanks for these great kids.

Dear Teenaged Sons,

I'm proud of you. I love how competent you are in the kitchen, making breakfast without asking me a hundred questions. I love that you were smart enough to figure out on your own that the bacon grease in the fridge makes great cooking oil, and that you can make a meal out of what's available, without asking me to go to the store for you. I love your generosity when you offer to make breakfast for everyone, not just yourself. I love your healthy choices, and I don't mind buying the massive quantities of fruit you consume every day. (Seriously, though, do you have a hollow leg? Because that's a lot of fruit.)

I love that you will be great parents one day if you decide to have children, and that you will continue to make healthy choices for yourselves, whether or not you are dads. If you have children, I hope they are smart and caring like you. I love how kind you are (most of the time) to each other.

This week, most of all I love that you respect me enough to let me work in peace. Tomorrow, I will teach you how to make coffee.

Love,
Mom

How did your spring break go this year? Contrary to what I've written here, mine wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darn great!

(Image credits: Anne Postic)

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