Skip to main content

Only pigs can grow up to be bacon

Three is a tender age to have your dreams crushed.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Image placeholder title

“I’m sorry,” I told little Benny as we walked hand-in-hand into Target, our bellies filled with summertime BLT sandwiches. “But that’s just not possible.”

“But I want to!” he yelled. Really, he only has one volume: Loud. But the passion in his tone was clear. “I want to be that when I’m grown up.”

“Too bad, buddy,” I say sadly. “Only pigs can grow up to be bacon. Boys cannot.”

A short pause to absorb this devastating news. “But it’s so drippy and delicious.”

This is a conversation I never thought I’d have.

Similarly, I never thought I’d cheer as my sweet 7-year-old girl pummeled a boy in tae kwon do sparring.

“Don’t forget to use your left leg, too,” I tell her as she takes off her helmet. “And uppercut!”

I never thought I’d serve my son a peanut butter sandwich every day of his life, or stoop to dirty negotiation tactics at dinner.

“One more bite!” he offers.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

“Fine,” I answer calmly over his still-full plate of roast chicken. “You may have one more bite, three times.”

“One, one, one.”


I never anticipated the thorough satisfaction that comes with a child finally learning to wipe his own bottom or the epic struggle of removing pirate face paint.

I never thought this would be motherhood.

I never thought that statements such as “Yes, you may sleep with your new toothbrush” and “We don’t tattoo ourselves with markers” would spill from my lips.

I anticipated sleepless nights, overwhelming love, fragile hearts and soaring dreams. I figured there would be messes, both literal and figurative. I had heard that the days would be long, the years short.

I knew, deep to the bones knew, that being a mother meant living for someone else. That I would put aside career, interests and relationships the moment they interfered with my family’s needs. That being a parent was the most important, daunting and serious responsibility I would ever have. And I was absolutely right.

I just never thought I’d have so much fun.

Beth Vrabel lives in West Manchester Township with her daughter, Emma, 7, and son, Benny, 3.


Time to Grow Up

I fully support Katherine's pacifier habit. Even though her preschool teachers, grandparents, and dentist say, at age three and a half, it's definitely time to pull the plug, part of me thinks I should let her suck away on the thing until a clique of fifth grade girls start making fun of her.


Mommy, do you want us to grow up?

The thing is, if you do a good job you are out of a job when your kids get older.

Image placeholder title

Growing up too fast

It seems like the month of April has been an eye-opening one for us.


Brightening the Darkness: Growing up With Foster Siblings

During my childhood, my parents fostered close to three hundred kids, some of them for just a few days, some of them for years. Every story was different...

Image placeholder title

Growing Pains

The figurative definition of growing pains is the difficulties experienced during the growing stages of an enterprise.

Image placeholder title

Cash Only?

Children & Teens do not have a concept of money.

Everyone Loves Christmas Magic

The three-year age difference between my children is never more apparent than at the holidays.