I had an epiphany. One of those, ‘OMG I get it now’ ones. One that made me question if my mom had been lying to me for my entire childhood.
‘Mommy! Mommy! I want milllllllk!’
‘Okay, okay. I’ll get it. Im just trying to finish up your grilled cheese.’
As you’ve already guessed, I’m standing over the stove making the kids (and myself) grilled cheese for lunch. I’m having one of those common mom panicked moments where you’re trying to do too many things at once, and nothing is actually being done well. I stop watching the grilled cheese to get the Muffin Man and Mr Blue Eyes sippy cups of milk. Dodging the open dishwasher I’m also in the process of trying to unload, to reload. I of course come back to my pan to find the grilled cheese a lovely, charred black color. I tell the boys, ‘It’s okay. I’ll eat it. Mommy loves burnt grilled cheese.’.
I stopped and internally said, ‘Holy shit.’.
Guys, my mom ate ALL of the burnt food when I was younger. She’d told us she loved it. She didn’t mind at all. It was yummy. Burnt sandwiches. Mmmmmm. Burnt toast. Mmmmmm. Burnt ANYTHING. Mmmmmm. She loved it. I honest to God thought my mom was crazy because she LOVED eating burnt food.
I HATE burnt food. Who in the Hell wants to eat a burnt grilled cheese?? We had enough cheese left for one sandwich so I was taking one for the team eating it. Mommy didn’t mind.
So what if my mom didn’t love eating all of that burnt food?? What if this was just another completely selfless act of a mother’s love? She never made us feel bad or guilty that she was eating the burnt stuff. She ate it with a smile. This thought made me tear up. I immediately sent my mom a text telling her how much I loved her and thanked her for always eating the burnt stuff she knew we wouldn’t like. She texted back she loved me. Still no confession that she may have secretly hated burnt food. Here I am at 34, and my mom still won’t let me feel bad about it. That my friends, is pure love.
I ate my burnt grilled cheese and had never been prouder of my mother, or myself. If I don’t get anything else right in this whole motherhood journey, at least I’ve got the selfless mom thing down. You’d think all of the sleepless nights with sick babies, being thrown up on, or being hit or screamed at repeatedly would’ve made me realize this. Nope. It was the grilled cheese. The burnt grilled cheese.
This Mother’s Day let your mom know how much you love her and appreciate her selflessness. If you’ve got a mom like mine treasure her. Thank her. Let her know you get it. The pregnancy, body changes, labor, sleepless nights, tears, all of it. Tell her THANK you. Treat her like the queen she is. There is one person in this world who without a doubt would die for you. The same person that would eat a burnt grilled cheese for you.
If you’re a mother yourself, Happy Mother’s Day. If you’re in the thick of an awful phase with your children, thinking how can I do better? What can I do differently? Am I doing it right? Am I good enough for them? You ARE. You’re a rockstar. NO ONE would ever love those kids as you do. The fact that you worry and keep trying day after day should tell you that. If it doesn’t sink in though, just ask yourself, ‘Would I eat the burnt grilled cheese?. I bet the answer is yes. You’re doing GREAT mama! Enjoy your day. Today though, maybe let daddy eat the burnt stuff.