Tuesday, April 01, 2008
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.
I look over to Megan, who is smiling and shaking her head.
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?"
Me: You have donuts?
Nana: No, but you could go get some.