There’s so much pressure from the world these days for teens to make their own lunch which many believe will miraculously transform them into responsible, grateful human beings. Yeah, I beg to differ on that one. What fairy tale are they living in?
While I do believe it is very important to instill responsibility in our teens, I’m no army general about it. I know that childhood passes way too fast. I know that in 3.5 years my boy will be on his way to college, where he will have to do his own laundry, make his own lunches, and bear the burdens of being an adult.
I vaguely remember what it was like to be a teen. It seemed a world of hustle and bustle, going from one activity to the next-early mornings and late nights. I often see that in my teen’s eyes as well. He will be fifteen in a few days and bouncing from football, directly to basketball, long practices and away games, hunting seasons, homework, shooting practice, friends, family, add in much needed sleep, and illnesses, life is full of pressures and exhaustion.
With the addition of parents hounding them to get their chores done-feeding the animals, cleaning their rooms, doing laundry, making lunches, life can be a bit overwhelming even for them.
I don’t want to be one of those moms that has anymore regrets. I know it’s time that can’t be given back. That’s why I spend more time with my children than anyone else. I make sure they know how much I love them and I make their lunches, even though my oldest is in his teens and could clearly make it himself.
Just because a mom or someone who loves them still makes their lunch doesn’t mean they’re enabling or their children won’t be successful adults. What some don’t recognize is how blessed they are to be able to actually make their teens lunch. There’s so much more than food inside that brown paper bag. Through every piece of bread and peanut butter, every apple, bag of chips, and cookie, I rejoice because I GET to make his lunch. It becomes an act of love. My son is here. He’s alive. I’m able to laugh with him, hug him, console him, argue with him, enjoy him, and even throw that bag at him when he gets mouthy.
So what if he’s a teen and the world tells me I shouldn’t be doing this? Among my exhaustion and occasional grumbling, to make lunches for all of my children brings me joy and fills my heart with love.
Because I know what it feels like to not be able to do that. To have a do-over would heal my heart. But I can’t have that.
I am reminded of that every day as I wake, wondering what my little girl would be like today. Every day. Even after eleven years. I wish I could make her lunch but I can’t. Would she prefer cheese and crackers, a sandwich, apples or peaches? I don’t’ know. But I do know that I wish I would’ve spent more time with her, but I can’t now.
Despite my exhaustion of work and family, I take it all in stride. Obviously there has to be balance. Contributions by everyone. Add in the arguments, squabbling, and the messy house, it’s all part of the deal. The endless laundry piles that are always waiting for me, completely annoying but they show a sign that my wonderful kids made that dirty laundry.
I’m sharing this with you, so you don’t find yourself halfway through life, arguing over lunches, wondering why your family is disconnected, that you missed out on so many silly conversations, heartfelt connections, events, birthdays, and special moments in their lives. Believe me, every moment matters- and don’t forget what a privilege it is to make that lunch for your child.
God put this on my heart this morning. Make your priorities. Put Him first and everything else will fall in place. And remember, only He can satisfy and sooth an aching, empty heart.