This post: I’m spoiling my teen while I still can
It was 6:45 in the morning… like every morning, unless I’m sick and can’t lift my head off the pillow, I drag myself out of my cozy bed, get the coffee going, feed our three cats (who meow so loudly you’d think we never feed them) and make my son breakfast before he heads out the door for school.
To him, a teenage boy who never sits down long enough to eat in the morning, breakfast isn’t scrambled eggs and bacon or pancakes. It’s a quick “gotta run don’t have time to eat” bagel and maybe a glass of chocolate milk.
While I’m stirring his chocolate milk and buttering his bagel and he’s busy packing up his backpack and filling up his water bottle, we grab a few minutes before he starts his day.
It’s not like he’s especially talkative in the morning. But I still manage to squeeze a few words out of him about his day – what tests or quizzes he has, how he did on that project he finished last week, or what his plans are after school. Sometimes, I’ll share a story with him that I heard on the news (typically I talk, he listens) or we’ll talk about the latest political spar that’s going on in Washington (plenty to talk about there…).
Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me what we talk about or even if he talks that much at all. I love starting my day with a heaping spoonful of my son’s presence. And, truth be told, even though he’s too cool to admit it, I can tell he’s come to appreciate those few moments every morning just as much as I do.
This particular morning, when my husband walked in the kitchen to grab himself a cup of coffee before work, he saw me buttering my son’s bagel and made a few “slightly” sarcastic comments that got me thinking…
“Really? You’re buttering his bagel? He’s perfectly capable of buttering his own bagel.”
“Come on… you’re spoiling him.”
“What’s he going to do when he goes off to college? Call you and ask you to come to his dorm and butter his bagel?”
Even though he said it jokingly, (and we both laughed because we knew it was true), it struck a chord with me.
Sometimes (like a lot of men I know) my husband sees things in black and white. But, as a mom, I view life in every glorious shade. I don’t just look at things with my eyes for what they are, I dig deeper with my heart – especially when it comes to my kids.
Now that my son is getting older, every moment is a memory in the making, every hour is an opportunity to connect and every day is one less day I have with him before he ventures off to college and leaves my tender care.
It’s not my mission to spoil my son rotten. I just want to spoil him with love… while I can.
“You know why I butter his bagel?” I said to my husband.
“Because I can. Because one day, soon enough, I won’t be able to.”
One day he won’t be asking me to drive him somewhere, asking for help with his homework or asking me to make his favorite dinner.
One day I won’t be able to clean his bedroom to take the pressure off when he’s stressed out about final exams.
One day I won’t be picking up his smelly socks, wondering what bomb went off in his bedroom or wondering why he takes 30-minute showers and then forgets to put deodorant on.
One day I won’t be able to give him a backrub, go with him to get a haircut or buy him his favorite candy bar and prop it up on his computer in his bedroom so he sees it when he comes home from school.
One day I won’t have those quiet conversations with him in the car, hear the laughter of him and his friends when they’re watching silly videos or lay on his bed and quietly study his profile while he studies for a test the next day.
One day his bedroom will be spotless, the laundry basket will be empty, there won’t be a pile of crumbs on the kitchen floor and the house will be quiet… too quiet.
One day I won’t be able to butter his bagel.
As I stood there with tears in my eyes, my husband leaned in and gave me one of his big bear hugs and said, “That’s why our kids are so blessed to have you… because you take the time to butter their bagels.”
I guess my husband knows me all too well. He knows I’m sappy. He knew it when he married me. But, watching our kids grow up, seeing them get closer to college and knowing that the days with them under my roof are fleeting makes me even sappier, which is exactly why I’m going to spoil them a little and love them a lot as much as I can for as long as I can.
Sure, I might be doing a little more for my son than I should be. And, yes, he’s capable of doing many of those things on his own, But, my days of spoiling my boy are slipping through my fingers.
Me spoiling him is as much for me as it is for him. I need this.
And, my boy needs me.
Maybe a little less than yesterday, but more than he will tomorrow. And, as long as he needs me, I’ll be there. I love the feeling of being needed. I love knowing I’ve made him smile. I love knowing that I’ve made his day a little easier and a little less stressful.
I love spoiling him… even if it means buttering a bagel he’s perfectly capable of buttering himself.