By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
As some of you may know, my 8 year old son, Liam, is quite the character. He is funny and witty but also very insightful. He is the best life coach as he completely harnesses the living in the moment part of life. Besides his love of life and fun, he is a true Wisconsin kid and loves cheese; his first full sentence was an enthusiastic, “I like cheese!” while at a cheese-making demonstration when he was almost two years old.
Most Saturday mornings, we make eggs for the kids in the morning. It’s usually me that is the short order cook but at times it’s my husband or my mom, if we are at their house. A few years ago, while eating our Saturday morning eggs with cheese, my husband asked Ethan and Liam, “What makes these eggs taste so good?”.
Liam confidently yelled, “Cheese!”
Adam responded, “No, something else.”
Liam again responded, “Hmmm...salt?”
Adam replied, “Nope. Love. Mom made the eggs with love, that’s what makes them taste so good.”
You could see the skepticism on his 6 year old face as he tried to grasp how love could possibly make the eggs taste good; he was very sure of his original answers of cheese and salt. Adam jumped in to clear it up by explaining that there are different ways to show love, including doing nice things for people or making their favorite foods. So, when Mom, aka me, makes eggs in the morning for everyone, it is a way to show how much I love them.
In true Liam style, he responded with, “That makes sense. But, the cheese and salt are good, too.”
This conversation happened about three years ago but is revisited nearly every week when eggs are made. Adam loves personal growth as much, or maybe even more, than I do, so, he often repeats a message for it to set in. In the beginning he would prompt the boys by asking, “what makes these eggs taste so good?”. And, Ethan and Liam would respond with, “Love”.
It didn’t take long for them to remember on their own and start branching out from the original conversation. Ethan, my very thoughtful and considerate-of-others oldest son, started thanking me for making breakfast, and now thanks me for every meal that I cook. Liam has commented several times, “These eggs are extra good today...must be extra love.”; of course this has typically corresponded when extra cheese made it into the mix. Both of them have explained to other egg chefs, usually their grandparents, that the ingredient that makes the eggs taste the best is love. One of the funnier comments from Liam was when we were discussing “dippy eggs”, which are our term for overeasy; it’s hard to beat a restaurant griddle for taste quality as compared to over easy eggs at home. Liam told me that our local restaurant over easy eggs tasted better but he knew there wasn’t as much love in them so mine were still better.
I know, adorable Hallmark-y story, right? I have a point. The first being, kids are always watching us and are way smarter than we give them credit for. Liam was 5 when this conversation was had and was firmly in the literalness of being a kid; love being the ingredient that made the eggs taste good, not cheese and salt, was a bit abstract. However, he totally got it once it was explained to him. Experiencing how Ethan and Liam both took this little lesson and re-applied it to other situations has been fun and awesome to watch. Give your kids a show worth watching.
The other point comes from the old adage “home is where the heart is”; I am sure you have heard this one. After this lesson from my kids, I have realized this is not completely accurate. It really should be, “Home is where your heart is, and, fortunately, you take your heart wherever you may wander.” This egg moment happened at home and taught all of us that you put love into even the smallest things for those that you care about. But, what’s awesome is that the memory and lesson goes with my kids wherever they go. Whenever grandma or grandpa or their aunt makes them eggs, they know there is love in them. It brings them home to where it started, with a conversation my husband started about cheese, salt, and love, but it goes with them. And, based on the conversations that have been had since that time, it is obvious they realize that all the small things are demonstrations of love as well. That, my friends, is the power of home and how simple things like cheese, salt, and eggs can bring you back to the memories and feelings of where true love is. Home.
Take those feelings of home wherever you may wander!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.