Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Edible Hugs

Actual conversations with Nana:

Nana: Would the girls like some scrambled eggs?
Me: Oh, thanks, but we ate before coming over.
Nana: How about some fruit?
Me: No, thank you.
Nana: Cereal?

I look over to Megan, who is smiling and shaking her head.

Nana: Toast?
Me: They're fine, really.
Nana: (Quieter) Pancakes?

I'm starting to understand why Nana loves to feed her grandchildren. Early on, after the girls graduated from bottles, the rice cereal phase was followed by the testing of solid foods, which was followed by the get-them-to-eat-vegetables phase. Feeding them was part of the work it takes to care for a child. But now that they're a little bit older, I can discover and create new meals for them, and I've found that feeding a child is just an extension of loving a child.

Nana: French toast?

Think about it: we have all these pa/ma-ternal instincts that place the health and safety of our child as our highest priority. Just about everything any parent does, from providing for his or her family financially to changing diapers, is an extension of those instincts. So when a parent puts some food together and offers it on a plate, and when that child sits down and quietly eats, maybe with one foot on the ground and the other knee on the chair like Clara does, it's as much a connection between parent and child as a hug, an edible one.

Nana: English muffins?

I know that it won't be long until activities and sports and work get in the way of having a nice, quiet meal with our kids, so I make sure to appreciate the connection now. In more than a few years, when the girls return home on their college spring break, they'll be comforted by my "who wants scrambled eggs?"

Nana: Donuts?
Me: You have donuts?
Nana: No, but you could go get some.


Michelle said...

I love your blog. :) Thanks for the smile.

Tracy Bittle said...

I love it! Donuts? :) Oh and your video from last post is all over the place now. You sure called it. Just like you do with upcoming new music. How many times have I heard you say "here, listen to this" and 6 months later they are on the radio?

Marla said...

Hello Joel!

I love your blog....now that I have found it I check it all the time and love reading it as I am still catching up a bit......BUT this blog about the food made me comment because my grandma was the exact same way. I must say as I read through all the entries (as I am still catching up....) some of the things you say and write ring so true. I told Bluford that I found your blog and have been reading them til late at night....and he just laughed at me. I will write every now and then but know that I am loving reading all of this and now know what you are up to. We miss you so.....We still need FOOTBALL coaches.....:-). Say HELLO to everyone.
peace ~ marla

SoccerMom said...

Hi Homeboy, funny stuff. I am going to add you as a link to my sitehttp://soccermomsview.blogspot.com as it is great to read things from the dad's point of view.

Joel Bittle said...

Woo! I love new readers. Thanks for stopping by, Soccermom. I checked out your blog and was impressed not just with the posts but how often you post. You should check out Michelle's blog - she's the first comment up there.

As always, it's great to hear from Michelle and Tracy and Marla. Tracy, you're the third person this week to ask me about music. And Marla, I'll grab my clipboard and drive on over. Remember when I lined up with the freshmen to get my picture taken - then Blu put the pic up in the teacher's lounge?

Farrell said...

OMIG my mom is the same way. She's Irish but I tell her she thinks she's Italian - always pushing food on people.