Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Making a Change.

I sat out, under the pomegranate tree the other day.   It was early morning and the air still held the chill and mystery of the night.  I held a hot cup of coffee, laced with cream.  My children sat in front of  me, bowls of oatmeal, just the way they liked it.  One with sucanot and milk, the other raisins and milk.  They took small bites.  I leaned my head back enjoying the moment.  The calm before the rush of the day took over.  Then it came, more suddenly than I expected.

"I don't want to eat anymore.  I just want to drink coffee, like you, mom."  Judah stared at his bowl as if it had suddenly landed from the moon.  His spoon dripping clumps of oatmeal back into the bowl.  Disgust lined his face.  

I didn't know what to say.  Obviously my example was wrong and I was setting it deep into the still permeable stone of youth.  

I hate breakfast.  Really, I do.  It rarely fills me up and I find that I'm still starving at twelve.  I just don't want to teach my kids that coffee is the way to start their day.  

I'm not vowing that I will eat breakfast every day.  I am going to try.  Today was the first and I managed to wait on my coffee and eat a whole bloody egg.  Thanking God for his bounty and praying my heart would shift.

You see I am not a good example in regards to food.  I don't mean to be, but I have my own issues handed down from my parents who received the same from theirs.  It's a complicated generation of eaters I come from.  But, I know one thing for certain.  I want to hand something better to my children. I want to teach them to enjoy, to eat to satisfaction, to appreciate what they are given.  I just wish it didn't have to start with me.  That somehow they could come to this on their own and I wouldn't have to undo thirty or so years of eating disfunction to teach them something better.

I am going to try.

I am quickly discovering that I am something of a closet eater.  I almost never sit while I eat.  I pick while I make my children plates, then I assist them through their meals, eating when they're finished.  I should admit that at this point I'm rarely picking on a salad, rather I'm munching a handful of corn chips, while I clean up the kitchen.  Or I'm too full from taste testing dinner to eat at the table with my family.  A glass of wine is probably not what I want my kids to think makes a healthy meal.  I eat, though.  A lot.  They just don't see me eat.  Okay and I do hide in my room with the door locked eating a bowl of ice cream while scouring the internet.  Hmmm.  Time for a shift?  I should say so.

In every way, except hiding with my bowl of ice cream.  If my children knew how many treats that I eat every day, they would refuse to consume a healthy morsel of food ever again.  Some things are better kept in hiding.  (yes, I know nothing is ever really secret)

Food is important.  Meal time is a special place to pause and enjoy while hearing all about the thoughts and dreams that run rampant through my children's minds.  It is a ritual that I want to train them to value and appreciate.  Learning that they are important and how they fill their bodies is an essential key to long and healthy life.  I know too much about health and nutrition to not hand my children the same keys, the same road map to success.  With it, I'll have to sacrifice my own bad habits, in pursuit of teaching them to love and value themselves.

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