I never realized how cooking dinner every night for my family was a big part of my life. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there have been MANY nights I haven’t felt like cooking and we eat out or order pizza in, and I never cook on Fridays. Dinner is the time where the whole family gathers (some days it’s the ONLY time in the day they gather). No phones, no distractions, just us.
After Payton died, there was this empty chair that seemed to stare me down every night as I placed everyone’s meals on the table. It was a bit different cooking for 5. I struggled with it many days.
Fast forward a year and we have an 18 year old who may or may not be at the table, you just never know. Some mornings you get up and check the microwave only to throw the food away you had saved them that they never came home to eat. He ends up moving out and you’re now cooking for 4. This makes a big difference because the 18 year old ate large portions. For a few weeks you’re throwing out food left and right until you finally come to the realization you need to learn to cook differently, for less mouths.
Fast forward another 2 years and you have another 18 year old. By this time, you figure it out more quickly and stop cooking for them altogether, but it’s sad. Stupid? Maybe, but nonetheless sad.
Eventually you have 1 child left at the dinner table. The table is quiet compared to before. You miss the integrated conversations between the entire family.
In just a few years there will only be Jason and I at the table and that is a tough realization for me. I love my husband, I do, but there’s nothing like a good ol’ family dinner. I never noticed how special that was to me until it was nearly gone. It was something I am proud to do for my family. I love cooking and I love my family. Cooking dinner seems like such an insignificant thing, until you see the big picture.
Childloss is hard. It’s hard on everyone. Pair that with raising teens and you have yourself a cocktail of emotional disaster.
Hold your babies close. Let them be babies as long as they will. Don’t push them to grow up. Make time for family, because once they grow up and start their own lives, nothing will be the same. Prepare yourself for change so it doesn’t smack you in the face like it did me.
Change can be difficult, I know that from experience. Some days change can feel unbearable to deal with. Change is the only constant in life and we have to work hard toward adaption to changes. Thomas Rhett says in his song “Life Changes”, “You never know what’s gonna happen. You make your plans and you hear god laughing”. It’s true. You can have a life plan, but things don’t always go as you thought they would.
Materialistic changes are easy and sometimes fun. Change the curtains, cool. Change the color of your hair, fun (or maybe you hate it, and call your hairdresser mom crying- but that’s a story for another day). Change the song on the radio, no problem. Change your clothing style, rock on! Easy. Life changes are not always easy or fun though. My world has been rocked, more than once. I have to learn to adapt better. I have to learn to use my positivity about life as a weapon to embrace changes.

Author: PaytonPiesMommy

I am a mother to 4 beautiful and amazing children. My youngest son was called to Heaven on March 26th, 2017 after a 6 month battle with a brain cancer called DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). He was only 7 years old. My life has been forever changed and my heart longs to be with him. I must complete my mission on earth, until we meet again. Writing is my outlet.

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