I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 20 months of my son’s life, which is his whole life, if you were wondering.
Next week he embarks to day-care full time while I begin my semester of student teaching. I will spend 7 weeks at a high school, then 7 more weeks at an elementary school, thus completely my long drawn-out education endorsement.
When I decided to finish my teaching license, I imagined that by the end of the summer I would be ready. I imagined that I would be ready to drop my son off at the babysitter everyday so that he can play with kids his age. That I would be eager for educational stimulation in areas not involving toddler tantrums.
Nonetheless, my heart has been throbbing with all kinds of sentiment this final week. Our mornings have been consumed by long, cozy cuddle sessions and book reading. Our afternoons have been filled with sweet, impromptu kisses and grasshopper chasing. And the truth is, I love being home with my son.
I find great pleasure in spending long hours organizing my kitchen. I love wondering around outside with my toddler’s hands grasping mine and tugging me here and there. I love looking at ant hills and feeding leftover crackers to the bunnies and pushing swings and making lunch for two. I cherish our afternoon trips to the library and quick stops to the grocery store where my son has to stop and smell the petunias by the entry way every. single. time.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that my 20-month-old and I are best friends and have great conversations all day (you know.. one word conversations..). I want to allow him all the grace he needs to be a little kid. I don’t want my messy adult world to squeak into his toddler world. So our worlds are very defined here. Meaning, I am his mom and decide what is best and he is the little boy who plays with sticks in the mud. I clean him off, give him kisses and tuck him in for a nap. And this is a relationship my introverted nature is so content with.
But this little boy of mine is ready. He is ready to sharpen his independent nature in a new environment. Ready to play with other kids in the mud. And I am confident that he will do extremely well without me.
And though I do feel ready, I fear the loss of time with him. The loss of our familiar and comfortable routine. I fear the changes that will inevitably take place. And I fear the guilt I will feel every day for the first few weeks away, then the guilt that will come when I don’t feel so guilty anymore.
There really is no knowing in this situation. We are welcoming a force of changes that will make up our learning experiences, and therefore, our lives. There is no way to know at this point whether I will be sobbing in bed every night or anxiously awaiting a new day with my students. And likewise, there is no way of knowing if my son will be the sweet daycare peacemaker I have built him up to be in my head or the kid that pushes down the kids smaller than him….
I guess we just have to have faith in each other. And cherish this last week, this beautiful end to 20 precious months. And eat this lunch at least twice more.
. . .
I have long thought about posting on our typical lunch menu for two. And this seems to be an appropriate time (cue the sentimental tears*).
My son and I love sweet potatoes, and this lunch is a hearty, protein-filled staple that can fuel a busy afternoon. It reheats well. But if I want to reheat it for tomorrow’s lunch, I usually stick with the sweet potatoes and farro and leave out (or eat the rest of) the eggs before refrigerating. A reheated scrambled egg is always an overcooked scrambled egg. The sweet potatoes and farro can be easily reheated over the stove in a small knob of olive oil and still be delicious the next day.
We have served this with a bit of salt and black pepper, fresh mozzarella, a slice of avocado and a squeeze of lime or lemon, chopped cilantro or spinach… there is definitely room to get create with this dish. Let me know how it goes for you!
Sweet Potatoe, Farro and Egg Scramble
Serves one mama and one baby
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
- 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/4 cup semi-pearled farro, cooked
- 1-2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the prepared sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway, until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelizing at the edges. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm a knob of olive oil. Add cooked sweet potatoes and cooked farro. Gently scramble them together to coat.
Crack the egg(s) over the mixture, then with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula, push around the sweet potatoes, farro and eggs until the eggs are fully cooked and scrambled. Remove from heat.
Allow to cool enough for baby before serving.