This morning, while getting the kids breakfast and trying to get them out the door, I did the one thing that I told myself I would never, ever do. And now, it will be on my mind all day and for years to come.
There's no doubt that my children have not been dealt that best hand when it comes to body size. We run on the larger size. I was dealt that hand while my 3 siblings were not. (Kind of like on Sesame Street when they would sing about how one of these things was not like the other....I have always been "the other".) One of my kids seems to be a lot like me----knows the difference between what is healthy and good for him and what it isn't; knows what a "good choice" is vs. one that isn't. And yet, in the majority of cases, chooses the latter. I know how that is....sometimes it's subconscious.; sometimes it isn't. Either way....it's a very hard habit to break.
This morning, he opened his lunchbox to see what I had packed for him. He asked if he could substitute one item out for another. I told him no; that lately his choices weren't the best and he had to eat what I had packed. He zipped up the lunchbox, grabbed his backpack and walked out, without saying goodbye. I knew exactly what was running thru his mind and what he was feeling and my heart sank. I always hated being verbally reminded of what I should be doing; what I should or shouldn't be eating--and more importantly, why.
When we were young, playgrounds weren't built out of nice plastic. They were built out of wood and were rather dangerous. We used to get slivers in our hands often. My mom would sit us on the kitchen counter, ice our fingers and remove the slivers. I would get 2 cookies to tide me over for the "procedure". One of my brothers--he got the entire box. Why? He had a metabolism that could handle it and I did not. I'm 35 years old now and this memory is burned into my head. It's stupid and ridiculous to continue to think about it. Just like I used to get 1/2 a sandwich from the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade--none of my friends did. As an adult, I understand now why my mom did these things. She was doing what she felt was right; what was best for me. I was resentful of it. No one likes to be made out to feel different. But, it wasn't her fault that my metabolism was practically non-existent. It's just the way it was/is.
My poor baby was crying on the driveway this morning when I went outside. He said everything that I used to feel when I was his age. And, it absolutely broke my heart. He is aware that he is a big kid. (He's also off the charts tall....so at least it's a little more proportionate.) But, as he pointed out, it's not fair to have things in the house for other people to eat and to restrict him from them. It should be either all or nothing. I totally see his perspective.....when temptation is there, sometimes, you cannot resist what is right in front of you. I told him he was right and that I understood. I also told him I didn't want him to grow up and be like me--that it was just so hard and I didn't want that for him. He looked at me and said "We are what we are. It doesn't seem to matter what we do." There was a lump in my throat and I didn't know what to tell him in those couple minutes we had before the bus came. I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I loved him very much and that I just wanted what was best for him. And, I do. But it's just so hard.