This is what underlies how I strive to raise Jack. That we should eat well and love each other.
Why those two things in particular? Because I believe that without those two things we are at a disadvantage but with them we are fortified to face anything, including changing the world we live in. It’s hard to make change with an empty stomach and an empty heart.
It goes beyond our little family of two. Not only should we eat well and love each other but it’s something we should share with others.
For example, eating well. Oh boy, that’s a charged statement. Eating well leads to being well and it is much more than filling our stomachs. Jack is lucky, lucky, lucky. He lives in an area with easy access to fresh, local food. And he lives with a mother who can afford to refuse to feed him fast food. Though sometimes I fantasize about just throwing some sliced cheese between two slices of bread or making mac and cheese or driving up to a drive-thru window because it would be so easy. Especially on those evenings where I forgot to defrost some meat or I know that I need to pick up some food before I can even think of what to make. But then I throw open the fridge door and I find what to make – even if it is just a fried egg with some fruit on the side. I don’t give in to the ease of processed food because of my next point.
Eating well has so much to do with loving each other. We eat together at the kitchen table twice a day every day. When I am not working, it is 3 times a day. I make all of our food. Except for the yogourt (we eat goat yogourt) and the prosciutto or bacon. Even then, I am careful to choose meat that has a minimum of ingredients. The prosciutto has 3 – pork, salt, pepper. The bacon is brined and then smoked. People (mainly my mother and sister) make fun of me for being so picky about what I choose to feed Jack and myself but I believe it is the right thing to do. Jack loves the food I give him. He stuffs himself with it. He laughs and asks for cinnamon to add flavour to his yogourt. By the time I get my plate ready and sit down for dinner he looks at me with his greasy little hands and cheeks and yodels, “Encore meat!” “Encore sweet potato!” “Encore papaya!” We have a good time when we eat and I love that I know what is going in that little body of his when we eat together.
I know that my mother gives him toast when he is there at breakfast time and his other grandmother gives him ice cream cones and it creeps me out but what can I do? The only thing I can do is let it go and remind myself that if he is at their houses then they are taking care of him and giving me some help.
Back to the loving each other part. Food plays a big role because it is something we share, it is something I make for him to make sure he is healthy, and mealtimes are where we sit together and talk face to face. We do that at other times, too, but I know that as he gets older his days will be busier and I want to start with a solid base of meal times = good food and face to face time. Plus, it gives me a chance to sit and smile at this beautiful boy of mine :)