I had just woken up an hour ago and I had decided to do something amazing. Something I'd never done before.
I wasn't sure if I could accomplish this daring feat, but my 11-year-old mind had made a decision to try. And that's what mattered.
I was going to make scrambled eggs. And it was going to be awesome.
Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?
Well, it wasn't. Continue reading and you'll find out why.
Let's Start From The Beginning...
I'm an only child. Yeah, I know what you're thinking.
"You were probably spoiled beyond belief."
It's something I've heard quite a bit. It's a common perception, isn't it? You think life was easy for me because I didn't have siblings with whom I had to share my parents' attention, right? Of course you do. I don't blame you.
But it wasn't as wonderful as you may think it was. I was raised by a single mother who worked incredibly hard to support me. My dad wasn't around much during this time of my life, so it wasn't as easy as you might think.
I spent a lot of time alone. It forced me to figure certain things out on my own. That can be good and bad. However, on this fateful morning, I decided I'd learn how to make something that I loved: scrambled eggs.
The problem? I had no idea what I was doing.
Like I said, I had never cooked anything before. Sure, I could heat something up in the microwave, but I hadn't done anything beyond that. So I felt it was time.
So what did I do? I called my mom at work.
Usually, I would only call my mom when I got home from school to let her know I was OK. It's what any good latchkey kid would do, right?
But it was summer, so I didn't have school. I called her so she could tell me how to make scrambled eggs.
She proceeded to give me a short "Scrambled Eggs Crash Course" over the phone. I wrote the instructions down on a piece of paper like a college student devouring the details of an interesting lecture.
I was SO ready. I felt so confident that I told her I could hang up and start cooking. I said I'd call her back when I was done. I couldn't wait to tell her of my culinary triumph!
I cracked the eggs open with a butter knife, just like she said. One. Two. Three. I carefully scooped out the pieces of eggshell that fell in. You can't have pieces of eggshell in your scrambled eggs, right?
Next, I beat the eggs in a bowl. Then I poured them into the pan.
Oops. Forgot to grease the pan, but that's not a big deal, is it?
It was horrible. I didn't know how to fold the eggs over the right way. I let it cook too long and I ended up with something that looked like a giant pancake made out of cooked eggs. It smelled even worse. I could barely flip it over.
Not only that, I'd left egg residue on the pan. Argh!
This was harder than I thought.
You would think I'd have learned my lesson, but I tried it again. With the same result.
I ate it anyway. Even though it tasted horrible, it was something I had made. I convinced myself to believe that I loved it.
I called my mom back and told her of the fiasco. She thought it was funny. She was probably glad that I didn't burn down our apartment!
Growing up as an only child raised by a single mother wasn't easy. I had to figure out so many things on my own.
I had to learn how to fight. I had to learn how to deal with people. I also had to learn how to be OK with being alone.
I had to learn how to make scrambled eggs.
Here's the thing...
As much as she wanted to, my mom couldn't teach me everything the way she would have liked. And sometimes, she had to give instructions from afar.
It was up to me to figure out how to put her instructions into action. I had to learn by failing. I had to learn by succeeding. And even though I had to do much of it on my own, it was her support and love that made it easier to figure things out.
It taught me to be more independent.
I don't know what it's like to be a single mother, but I do know what it's like to be raised by one. I was blessed to be raised by a great mother, and although I'm not perfect, I turned out well in the end. I owe much of this to my mom.
To any single mothers who are reading, I'd say this: keep doing your best, even when you can't see the result. You really are making a difference, and it matters. You may not know it at the time, but even the little things you do will teach your children life lessons that they will never forget.
And they will be better people because of it.