The Teacher has Become the Student & Yummy Can’t Be Beat Salmon Loaf

As a tired young mom, I used to daydream about “someday”


  • The kids will give me some alone time (maybe even when I’m on the toilet).
  • They won’t talk on and on about, well, stuff…all……day….. long.
  • They won’t get up at the ass crack of dawn…many times way before the sun even thought about making an appearance.
  • They won’t keep me up all hours of the night to feed, go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc.
  • I’ll be able to engage in adult conversation again.
  • 5 days a week of soccer will turn into, I don’t know, NEVER sitting in the pouring rain for hours on end ever again.

Now as a much older mom, however, I look back on those days and miss the simplicity of them. And while we were busy in the trenches of our life at the time, I now remember them fondly and as an empty nester for the past 10+ years, I still wonder where the time went. Our kids grew up too fast, I blinked and before I knew it, they were moving out, going to college, having babies of their own, making their way out in the big old world. Here today and gone tomorrow as the saying goes. I look at them now and smile because even with all my shortcomings as a mom, I helped raise amazing human beings.

If you’re a parent, you already know you’ll be parents to your children until the day you aren’t. The journey of raising a family goes through so many twists, turns and detours that I often felt I was on a long road to nowhere and I was never going to get to any destination. But even with all those detours, the most challenging part of parenthood for me has been the transition to the empty nest. I mean, naively I thought that once they were on their own, I wouldn’t worry about them anymore but that has not been the case. In fact, I sometimes think I worry more now than I did when they lived under our roof.  

My husband and I knew that we wanted to have kids right away and from the minute our kids were placed in our arms, we immediately knew the joy they would bring us. When we began our journey into parenthood, we imagined the milestone childhood moments and looked forward to the adults they would become, knowing the world was their oyster. By the time our kids were in junior high, we knew the trenches were sometimes getting the best of us.  I quickly realized that the endless amount of patience I “knew” I would have, was a fairy-tale.

But now that they are adults, they don’t really need us like they did when they were little. They don’t need our help tying their shoes, getting dressed or brushing their teeth. And they for sure don’t want our unsolicited advice.  And it’s been humbling to admit to myself, that as a parent—I don’t have all the answers and I’m quickly realizing that I never did, I just faked my way through it. And while our kids are wading through the challenges of parenting, struggling to make ends meet and basically all the things we ourselves have experienced, I realize I’ve still got growing to do myself.

So, the time has come that the teacher has become the student and I thought I would share a few things they are teaching me:

It’s ok to let the kids play hooky from school and take them for doughnuts or to the park instead of being so worried that they would miss too much “learning time”. In fact, I wish I had let them stay home when they were sick instead of thinking they were faking it (because that’s what I did when I was a kid).  My daughters now let the kids stay home occasionally and do the fun things and the grand kids are doing just fine – why didn’t I do more of that?

Our kids have taught me to have faith that they have the tools they need to figure things out for themselves. Now that they are adults who are busy building their lives, I see them struggle and I am tempted to ride in on my horse to try to save the day and fix things for them. Parental guidance is a hard thing to give up, so while I still strive to find the balance between being nosy and smothering my kids with questions and answers, it’s tough. Because I like to think that mother knows best, but do I? I have watched them solve problems in their relationships, their jobs and with their kids, so, I am convinced that they’ve got this, and I also know that they are confident in themselves that they can tackle anything, so now our job is to support them as quiet bystanders (this is a work in progress for me, but I’m working at it).  

Our kids have taught me that they learned some valuable lessons from my mistakes. They acknowledge that ‘momming’ is hard work, in fact I would argue that it is some of the hardest work you will ever do.  They have taught me forgiveness and grace, accepting that I did my best and forgave me for my shortcomings. I feel like through the generations, our kids do better and better the further down the line they go. My mom learned from her mom’s mistakes, I learned from my mom’s mistakes, my kids learned from my mistakes and their kids will learn from their mistakes and on and on it goes. 

Our kids have taught me to let them claim their values – If you’re like me, you wanted that same privilege after leaving home. But as a parent of adult children, that is easier said than done. Something as simple as family traditions that we followed or developed doesn’t mean our kids would necessarily adopt them as their own. I never thought that their spouses would have their own traditions to bring to the table or heaven forbid that they want to make their own new and improved family traditions, but it has been fun watching as these take shape.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t force my ideas on my kids. I’ve realized that we have done our best to instil good strong morals and values in our kids and that now as adults, I cannot give them anything else by talking at them and cramming my thoughts and ideas down their throats. Sincere, honest conversation filled with truth and me having integrity with my word has offered an opportunity to redefine our relationships. I find great comfort in also just talking with them about random things. Sometimes we all just want to have conversations about nothing. They’ve taught me that not every conversation needs to be a life lesson.

They have taught me to be more open-minded. Instead of opposing their ideas at every opportunity. I’m trying to really understand where they are coming from and at the end of the day, if we don’t find common ground on a subject, I have learned to disagree humbly. I always come out having learned some valuable information and the bonus is that I end up knowing the kids just a little better. Each conversation is a unique opportunity for growth and discovery for me.

They have taught me that they just may be a little smarter than I am, and when I say a little, I mean much smarter. When they were young, I had the answers—or at least I pretended I did. But the older I get, the more I realize that they have answers for me. I often ask them for advice. Sure, they know more about technology, but they’re also remarkably smart about living life. I’m learning from them that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to say no. They are teaching me to find pleasures in simple things instead of waiting for big celebrations. I’m learning to play more and worry less. Slow down. Take chances and live more spontaneous.

I’d love to hear some of the lessons you’re learning, too, and hope you’ll share some in the comments!

Can't be Beat Salmon Loaf

Cooking in Cowboy Boots
Easy week night dinner using canned salmon - Even our picky teenage grandkids loved it! Paired with a bearnaise sauce and it can't be beat!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf


  • 1 Bread loaf pan


  • 15 0z Canned Salmon
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 Lg Egg
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • ½ Cup Onion Diced
  • ½ Cup Green, red or yellow pepper Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Preheat ovn to 350°
  • Spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray
  • Bake for 1 hour or until the top forms a nice crust

6 Comments Add yours

  1. BERNADETTE says:

    Thank you for this beautiful, reflective post.

    1. Thanks so much for reading!!

  2. Karen says:

    I really enjoy your blog. Seems like yesterday my son (almost 40 now yikes) was wanting to stay home (once in a while) from school and I said okay. 🙂 Good memories.

    1. It’s so scary watching them leave the nest but exciting too. Our youngest is getting married next year – time goes by in the blink of an eye! Thanks so much for reading

  3. Bernadette says:

    This must be delicious if picky grandkids eat it! Bookmarking the recipe. If you live long enough, you get to watch all those childhood moments happen again and be relaxed enough to enjoy it.

    1. Yes, it’s picky grandkids recommended! Thanks so much for reading 💕

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