Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sea Change

If you want to see active hubris, look at this post that I wrote last spring.

HA HA! I actually thought my teenage daughter would want to continue packing lunch to school! But she doesn't - at all - and keeping her well fed is an ongoing challenge that I'm not doing a great job at right now. So we have a cobbled-together mess of peanut butter and jam sandwiches (permitted again after a whole childhood of being forbidden by school rules) and the occasional $5 to spend in the cafeteria and I don't know if we're going to make it.

Even if we could afford it - and we can't - eating fast food or in the cafeteria every day just isn't good for her. But skipping lunch - her other new favorite option - is even cruddier for her and this is a skinny kid ALREADY and what can we do? This is a hypothetical question, I suspect, because I think the answer is that we're just going to muddle through.

Her dad told me about getting an unexpected phonecall from her one lunch hour earlier this fall - she had gone out for lunch with a group of friends but the line-up at the restaurant was far longer than expected and could he come and take them to a further restaurant, please? So he did and told me later on that the girls - girls he's known for a decade -  all looked pale with exhaustion and suddenly lanky and tall and talked about how hard it was to get up so much earlier and how different the classes were and so full (after a childhood spent in a school with the same 90 kids) of strangers.

You couldn't get me to be a teenager again for a million dollars and my kid is going through it right now - largely with grace and largely with kindness and I'm trying to keep in mind that for all of the changes this brings into my life, it's even harder for her. And she is well worth figuring out the whole bothersome mess of school lunches all over again, with as much grace and kindness and peanut butter sandwiches as I can give.

1 comment:

  1. It's a big change, to be sure. I find that my (also very skinny) teenager just doesn't eat his lunch like he used to. I think it's the new-found freedom of having over an hour and being able to leave the school, no questions ask. He and his friends often go wandering and it's hard to eat your lunch when you're walking.

    The only constant in parenting, it seems, is change.