A Lesson Learned from Peaches

After a long wait, Colorado peaches have finally arrived at the markets in Taos. Yes!  While I still love Georgia peaches, the ones that grow just north of us in New Mexico are absolutely scrumptious. I love slicing one for my morning yogurt, whipping up a nostalgic peach milkshake (shout out to my aunt who used to make the best ones EVER) or a good ol’ fashioned peach cobbler. 

Without a doubt, peaches are my most favorite fruit, but with one key caveat: that they’ve ripened naturally and have sweet flavor.  I’m sure every reader has been fooled by a bad peach at the grocery store.  You push your cart through the produce section and are quickly wooed by the peach aroma. Memories may subconsciously flood your brain as your think about your favorite peach ice cream, your mom’s yummy cobbler, or a celebratory family reunion.  You toss a few in your cart, anticipating joy in a thousand different ways. Although their fuzzy pink exteriors look mature and ripe, as soon as you slice into its flesh with a paring knife, you realize you’ve been duped again.   There’s nothing worse than a mushy, dry, flavorless peach. Ugh.

Introspectively, we parents are often guilty of treating our children as we do peaches.

Yes, you read correctly. While the exterior of the peaches look “just right,” their insides are unripened and often purchased prematurely. Don’t we do the same with our children? We decide they’re ready to embrace a challenge or goal wehave for them, when actually, they’re simply not ready and need a bit more time. Or perhaps it’s a dream to which you’ve clinged to yourself, hoping to see it come to a fruition within your child. Sadly, that’s a selfish way to parent, even though our intentions may be sincere.  As a former teacher, I’ve seen young boys emotionally forced to play basketball when they’d rather be in art class ; girls stuck in  gymnastics class, when they’d rather be on the softball field. And not to stir up the political pot, but I’ve actually heard adults tell their grown children, “you need to belong to this party, because it’s the same one to which the rest of your family belongs.”

Mercy. 

Trust me, I’m guilty as well.  In truth, I should have seen it coming when my daughters were young. I remember trying to teach one of them how to ride a bicycle. Caught up in my own preconceived vision of that parent who holds on to the back of the seat and cheers as their kid peddles towards victory, I discovered that was not my kid nor my reality. Instead, my little one said "Mom, go inside. I want to figure this out on my own. I'll let you know when I'm ready."  I was stunned, went inside and sulked, all while praying she didn't break an arm or leg. Within twenty minutes or so, I was outside watching her peddle fiercely with a proud smile on her face. Lesson learned and yet as a parent, I continued to make mistakes.  Whether it was trying to convince my youngest daughter that she’d like ballet (while ignoring her crying in the car) or pushing the other daughter towards a college major in which she personally had no interest whatsoever, they were errors on my part. We ALL make mistakes. We're human and that's okay. 

I have to often remind myself that I’ve lived my life at my daughter’s ages already. And while some of my intentions are my sincere and desperate attempt to shield them from pain, I have to remember that my own “light bulb moments” were learned by experiencing them personally.

Love your child enough to allow them to experience their own "a-ha" moments.

The LAST thing you want your son or daughter to do is follow in your footsteps out of their own insecurity.. Be prepared, as they may follow yours so closely that they trip over your worn out path--a path that was riddled with mistakes in which you'd totally forgotten. The result is often hard feelings and bitterness between parent and child, with negative memories lingering into adulthood.  

Can you relate? Perhaps you should spend a little alone time thinking about it.  An apology to your child may even be in order.

The next time you’re at the grocery and see a tempting bin of peaches, push your cart on by. Chances are they’re far from being what you envision. If you remain patient and wait for summer harvest, you’ll be glad you did. As for your child through whom you may be living your dreams, or to an adult whom you’re so ever lovin’ tempted to give unsolicited advice, try biting your tongue. Oh trust me, I’m lucky to have a tongue left! 

Stop and ask God for guidance. Allow Him to mature your thinking and your child. The result will be a healthy relationship in which your child will feel loved, grow to be independent, and who knows, they may even feel comfortable enough to ask you (praise Jesus!) for some advice.   Now THAT type of ripening is well worth the wait! 

Oh and check out these peachy recipes below!

 Brightest of Blessings,

Angie

Grilled Peaches and Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients

Grilled Peaches:  2 ripe peaches, halved 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 tablespoons sweet white wine, such as marsala wine (optional) 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Grilled Pound Cake: 1/2 store-bought pound cake, sliced into 2-inch slices 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Glaze: 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1/4 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons orange juice

4 tablespoons of milk or half and half

DirectionsFor the grilled peaches

  1. Prepare the grill to high heat. Lightly brush the cut sides of the peaches with the oil. Grill the peaches, cut-side down, until grill marks appear, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  2. Boil the wine and sugar in a small saucepan. Transfer the peaches to a small dish and spoon the wine mixture over the peaches. Set aside.

For the grilled pound cake

1.Preheat the grill to high heat.

  1. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with the butter. Grill about 2 minutes each side.

For the cream cheese glaze:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange juice and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth with spoon or electric mixer.
  2. Drizzle the cream cheese glaze on the grilled pound cakes. Place the grilled peaches on top. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy. 

Sweet as A Peach Crumble

(I love how the oatmeal give it just a touch of yummy texture!)

 INGREDIENTS

Fruit Mixture

6 large peaches, sliced (about 2 1/2 lb.)

1/4 c. granulated sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of kosher salt

TOPPING

1  c. all-purpose flour

1 c. packed brown sugar

½ Cup of old-fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Make peaches: In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. 
  2. Make topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats,salt, and cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and stir until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  3. Pour peaches and juices into a large baking dish. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over peaches. 
  4. Bake until topping is golden and peaches are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.