Why Macaroni Cheese Matters

Yesterday my 18 year old made macaroni cheese for the family’s supper. Nothing groundbreaking about that, you may think (although those of you with teenagers may already be recognising how momentous and unusual this event this is!) The thing is, he wasn’t asked to do it, or doing it because he felt he should – he genuinely wanted to cook for us.

To put this into context, my youngest is a keen cook and regularly treats us to home made bread and other delicacies – he made a delicious apple crumble the other day with apples from Granny’s garden. His elder brother, however, is not only an extremely fussy eater with an alarming penchant for fast food and ready meals, but also very preoccupied with girlfriend, work, college and all the important things, like going out with friends, marathon film viewing or X-box sessions. Most weeks now I ask him what his plans are, so that we can make the most of him when he’s at home and available.  I am well aware that my time with him living at home is finite.  Luckily, we love his girlfriend and my house is like a second home to her now but my son is an ambitious and talented young man and he’ll be wanting a place of his own before too long, more than likely with her. I am so proud of the life and career I can already see him carving out for himself, in his deeply-felt values, skills and determination and when he makes his mark on the world (as he surely will) I’ll be there, cheering  him on from the sidelines as always.

I suppose what touches me most these days are those small but important signs that family is still important to him, that he is still thinking of me and appreciating my support and encouragement. A quote I love about parenting is that you must give your children both roots and wings, and that is what I’ve always tried to do as a parent. So, you see, Macaroni Cheese matters  – and guess what? It was delicious!

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