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  • Writer's pictureDeena

Foil packet parenting

Wowzers.


When you forget your own website password you have been gone too long.


Or you are the Mom of 6 kids who are all home for a few months.


Either way I'm glad to be back.


I hope since I've written last you've enjoyed some lilacs and finished homeschooling.


When our oldest came home from an internship at a church a few hours away last summer, he brought with him a fun side dish recipe for potatoes.


He went and bought the Traeger's seasoning you just HAVE to use and just happens to be one of the most expensive spice blends I've ever seen.


I was glad HE bought that.


It was a bit "sus" that the only place to buy this seasoning was at the HARDWARE STORE.


( anyone else's kids using the abbreviated "sus" for "Suspicious?" Only ours? Alrightythen.)


I was even more suspicious when he unloaded the MUSHROOMS from the grocery bag.


I know an internship can change a man, but this man-child of mine wouldn't even give a sideways glance to an olive.


Half hoping for a real food "revival," I just smiled and listened to him tell me how he had spent the Summer living with a single older man in the church who would cook with him and talk about anything and everything.


They bonded over grilling and old movies.


This actually sounds like a great internship to me.


He told me how he loved being with this man and how he gently pushed him out of his comfort zone in regards to new foods and even cooking.


Now home, he couldn't WAIT for us to have the same memory that he did with this dear church member.


That first foil-packet potato dinner addition last Summer seemed to take a LOT longer than it should've.


Perhaps we should have started with the old movies.


It was hard for me not to want to come in and chop the onions the "right way," or tell him that he was using enough Pam to form a human slide on each piece of foil.


I thought the oven temp was way too high and that he didn't use enough salt.


Somehow I kept my mouth closed and tried not to let-on that we were waiting on him so we could finally eat dinner.


Three hours later.... okay just an hour later, we sat down and I watched as the crew DEVOURED these potatoes.


I mean DEVOURED them. And in a hurry too!


No one, I mean NO ONE mentioned mushrooms which actually frustrated this mom who has tried to hide them for years with no avail.


There they were right there in the foil all "no holds barred" and everything and yet not a turned-up nose!


The smile that my oldest had was really memorable.


It was the smile of an oldest child learning to make his way in the world and yes, in the kitchen.


It was the smile of a son who was still learning to eat new things, become an adult and contribute super expensive seasoning to the family.


And tonight as the foil packets came out just before this son heads back to school for yet another internship I was reminded just how wonderful adult kids can be.


They can be a bit much sometimes.


Sure, parenting just keeps on getting better and better, but with that maturing and growing up come grown-up discussions and thoughts and pride that's grown up too.


Pride does that.


It just gets as tall as our children do.


Funny, we love that they have the same personality they did when they were young.


My oldest was hilarious.


We taught him the words to "A Fine Romance" from an old Fred Astaire movie when he was a little fella and somewhere have him on tape crooning, "A fine womance, with no kisses, a fine womance, my friend, this is!"


I need to find that tape for future blackmail....


Or for more foil packets.....


Anyway, he had and still has the best sense of humor.


The Lord named him "laughter" for a reason.


But his pride stuck with him as well.


That old sinful flesh just snuck into his back pocket when I was printing off his high school graduation invites.


And when that sinful flesh meets my very own sinful flesh it turns into some really bad Fourth of July fireworks.


What I didn't expect with bigger kids is bigger flesh to battle with.


Bigger isn't always better.


I know this should be a "no-brainer" but it really has hit me "between the eyes" as of late.


With three adult kids home for the Summer we all have to control our flesh or it becomes a war zone of sorts.


Going from parent to mentor and friend is sticky sometimes.


And tonight the foil packets just reminded me of a few things.


Hope you don't mind if I share them.


Foil packet parenting tips I am speaking to myself this evening:


  1. My kids are going to learn cool, new things and they are going to want to bring these cool new ideas home. It may include mushrooms, high church music with unresolving chords and even games including goat cheese and pizza. LET THEM add some spice to life. Even if it's expensive and from the hardware store.


2. The oven temp may seem "higher" than I am comfortable with.

( This is not a "hot flash." Lucky for me, these will be a future event to look forward to.

Yaaaaaaaay me.) I need to take breaks to let the adults be themselves and do not

need to hover over them. Let them share their ideas and thoughts and while they do

secretly plan dinner mentally. Just kidding, or not.... We do not need to see "eye to

eye" on every single solitary thing. Mainly because they are taller than me.



3. Keep feelings low and prayers high. Parenting adults is one big foil packet of

goodness but it may take a bit longer than you think it should. All good things are

worth waiting for and enjoying at the right time.Remember that time in cross-

country when you took FOREVER to get back from your after school practice run

that one long, hot, day? When you want to throw-in the towel or even use it as a

strangulation device, remember how long your Mom waited for you when you were

the last one to finish.



4. Maturing is God's work, not mine. He will lead and guide them into "all truth," and

make them the amazing humans he wants them to be. He may use means you aren't

really pleased with, or you may also think he's not using enough salt. It's HIS recipe.

You aren't the "cook" you are only the "sous-chef, " the top assistant to the

professional. Leave your two-cents with him and wait for the timer to go off. He's

never burnt anything before and can be trusted to complete what he's begun.



5. Sit back and watch the siblings become a rock-solid cohesive amazing group. These

older ones are being used by the Lord to show the younger group that it's worth

tasting to see that the Lord indeed is good. They will get each other to understand

things, swallow things that I as Mom couldn't force-feed them. And it's really, really

super sweet. Mushrooms are just the beginning.


I love my kids.


I love who they are becoming and how they transform a bit more each time they come home for a moment before they chase the next wonderful adventure in front of them.


In my flesh they loose too many undershirts, blame me for moving them and make me want THEM to move to Africa for a month or one hundred.


But if I grow with them, and we crucify our flesh together, it's one wild ride I wouldn't trade for anything.






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