"Wow, Mom," my little blonde boy said, his blue eyes wide with admiration. "That was a really good supper. Did you try your very, very best to make it taste so good for us?"
The sincerity in his voice caught me off guard. As an at-home mom, I am unaccustomed to accolades. My kids are under the impression that I am here solely to provide them with their every need. I've always been here. I've always fed them, hugged them, and made them brush their teeth. I'm a given. There's no real need to recognize me because I'm just serving my purpose.
So the fact that he recognized my culinary efforts tonight came as a surprise. I smiled, thanked him for the appreciative words, and felt blessed. And then I felt humbled.
The dish with which he was so very impressed was not a carefully planned meal.
I did not try my very, very best. In fact, it was hastily thrown together with a slight attitude of irritation.
Today it snowed. Again. And while we're thankful for the moisture, we're really, really tired of snow. And snowpants. And snowboots. And cold. It was 75 yesterday, and today it was 28 degrees and snowing. That's just annoying. But I thought I would make the most of the cold day and do some baking. I was so caught up in my homemade rolls, banana bread, and doughnuts that I didn't plan for supper. I found myself thawing out elk burger at 5:30 p.m. while I tried to flip doughnuts in the fryer and keep all the kids on task with chores and homework.
The dish that was so appreciated by my sweet six-year-old was tater tot casserole. Made with leftover tater tots.
But the reality check for me is that I was so caught up in the extra baking and trying to clean up the house that I didn't tend to supper with a nurturing attitude. My children expect that I will do my best when I present a meal to them, and while that doesn't mean it needs to be gourmet food, it does mean that I should prepare it without the attitude of irritation. I expect them to do their very best when they are doing their chores or school work, and I should set the example for them in my daily tasks.
I am often reminded that my every action, attitude, and comment is being absorbed and processed by four young minds.
I have a feeling that those words will echo in my head for a long time to come.
"Mom, did you try your very, very best?"