23 September 2011

No peppers please

I remember the evening Asher ate radishes and decided they were so delicious, he would go outside and sell them to any passersby.  He has always had odd tastes when it came to food. As an infant, he refused to eat any kind of meat. No chicken, beef, or turkey - but he loved tofu. Seriously, he loved tofu. Lentils too. I baked tofu into little bites and these were some of his favorite dinner time treats.

Although there aren't many meats he will eat, he has always loved raw vegetables. Radishes, carrots, green, red, orange peppers - all of those vegetables I always refused to eat.

So when his Kindergarten teacher told us the kids would need to bring a healthy snack of fruit or vegetables everyday, I had a lot of options to choose from. He took peppers and radishes and the bags always came home empty.

Until this week...when the bag of green peppers I sent for lunch came home still full.

It still breaks my heart to imagine the scene at school.  Asher's naive love of eating non-typical kid food vegetables ended this week.  He revealed to me that other kids thought his peppers looked funny and so he decided he's not going to take them to school anymore.

We talked about how he will just eat extra amounts of peppers at home, but please don't pack them for lunch or snack anymore.

I understand. Who wants to be the kid who has weird looking things in their lunch? I still remember what I thought of Alex who had a green potato chip in fourth grade. With the torment he got, I doubt Alex ever brought potato chips for school lunch again.

I know its just peppers and I know nobody got hurt, but I'm sad.  I'm sad because Asher's awareness of what is cool and what is not is beginning. Now its peppers but I know where the influences lead. For me it was into Guess jeans, Esprit bags, and Munchos for lunch way too often.

I want to live those elementary school years again through him and enjoy the time so much more knowing those lessons in life that just have to be learned by yourself. I pray his free spirit to stick with his own choices doesn't die.

For now, I'm packing an apple and leaving the peppers at home.

16 September 2011

Just fun

A rare moment.

Nobody needed anything. Lunch dishes washed and drying in the rack. Diapers changed and everyone smelling fresh. All satisfied and all happy.

At that moment yesterday after lunch, we had a rare ten minutes of just fun. Amelie, Asa, and me playing peek-a-boo, giggling, and chanting the knee, clap, snap rhyme.

This morning, I thought of the giggles and smiles we shared. Immediately I knew that out of all the moments with young kids, I want to remember that kind of time. Laughing with silly elephant/hedgehog toy brought the sort of joy that I rarely find as a parent, but when I do,I know it is what real living is meant to feel like.

That kind of peaceful joy evades me most of the time. Usually the list on the counter holds my mind in such a grip that pausing for even a free moment of purely enjoying my kids can't happen.

For whatever reason, it happened yesterday and that moment of just fun, pure joy, and really living is one I want to relive over and over again.

07 September 2011

Some years

The sun shone the brightest it ever has on September 6, 2003.  Walter and I rode away from the church that looks like a church in the old-time red convertible while bubbles filled the air.  One of my favorite mental snapshots from one of  the best days ever.

We celebrated the anniversary of that great day the following year when we spent the weekend in Door County. Over the years, we've celebrated our marriage in big and small ways. One year it was a trip to Galena, another an afternoon grape-stomping at a local winery and last year, a day at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

This year, we remembered the occasion at the park across the road. No, we didn't have a romantic picnic.  We watched Asher practice soccer while Amelie turned herself brown while playing in the dirt of the baseball field.  And this remembrance was good.

I'm not saying I'm giving up on celebrating big with exciting trips and romantic dinners, but after eight years and three kids, I guess I have reached a place of contentment with the simple remembrances.

I loved my Gerber daisies and Tanner's apple doughnut and I'm happy that Walter decided to share his Ghirardelli brownies.  But I'm even more happy that we still love each other and that the depth of quality in his character through highs and lows continues to amaze me.

Some years simple celebrations are exactly perfect.

02 September 2011

Gippet and Papoops

Amelie's bedtime can't be complete without the gippet and a papoop (preferably the pink one). Of course, I'm talking about her blanket and her pacifier.  Yes, she is two and a half and still has a pacifier...but only at bedtime.  And yes, I let her drink coffee every once in a while too just so your bad mom judgements of me can be complete.

Everyone needs a gippet and a papoop, don't they?

A few days ago, I pulled out the frayed and torn blanket from my childhood to show Amelie that while I don't need it every night anymore, Mommy has a gippet too.

Sometimes a gippet is just the thing I need. I crave security, comfort, something soft against my face to remind me about little sweetnesses.

I think about the upcoming tenth anniversary of 9/11 and wish our security could be found in something so simple as a gippet and papoop.  On September 10, 2001, I had no idea how safe I felt. When the terrorists attacked our country and the naivete of security was blown away, how many of us wished we could go home and hide under a blanket while ignoring the new knowledge that people hated us simply for being us?

When I look for my security in savings or living in a safe neighborhood, God regularly reminds me that while those might be good ideas, they are also deceptive. Busted boilers have melted through our savings faster than we ever thought. Our idea of a safe street turned out to be not so safe. On those days, I could only look up and into God's words to find assurance that all was still well.

A gippet and a papoop give Amelie the security she needs.  I hope that lasts for her as long as it possibly can.

Some  days the tangible softness of a blanket is all I need for comfort. And on the days when the world news seems scary and uncertain, I know true security and promises kept are only found in the One who is in never ending control.

Better than a gippet and papoop.