Raw, Hard Facts of Life

We just got home from being out of the country a few weeks, so maybe it’s cultural shock, or jet lag, or withdrawals from ocean breeze, or the heap of laundry staring at me, but reading through the mail and dusty newspapers, I came across this article reminding parents that children come home from school hungry, “So keep plenty of simple snacks such as baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, raw bell peppers and other vegetables on hand…”

Excuse me?

Why even bother to come home?

Isn’t math homework depressing enough without the addition of raw vegetables? Plus, what on earth will mothers use as bribery to insure that 500-word English essay assignment isn’t 50% filler words like the newspaper article?

Trust me—a freshly-peeled, juicy, raw onion won’t cut it without plenty of tears.

Haters gonna hate what I’m sayin’ here, but please give your kids something fun to come home to.

When I was a kid (“Oh, here it comes…”), we ate very few processed snacks, because they were expensive and I was one of seven kids. Even if my parents had bought them, we wouldn’t have eaten them because our oldest brother was part wolf, but just the eating part; the rest of him was more like German Shepherd—very loving, reliable, protective, but don’t get into his stuff.

Anyway, despite nary a

Cheetos passing our lips, my siblings and I have wonderful memories of walking in the front door to this:

The glorious fragrance of cinnamon toast and milk tea (in which to dip the crusts).

To this day, it’s a comfort food we, our children, and our children’s children share—and may I add, we original seven are all too old to die young from clogged arteries, obesity, diabetes or whatever else we were supposed to have succumbed. Also, us seven kids never suffered a broken bone—a fact I credit to our daily consumption of the chemical compound

WB2.5 + B1 +CS2=BG

(2 1/2 parts white bread, plus 1 tablespoon butter, plus 2 parts cinnamon-sugar, equals bone glue).

Upon serving my nine-year-old granddaughter this family heirloom, she took one bite, closed her eyes and asked in whispered reverence,

“Nana…what kind of food IS this?”

I’m hard pressed to imagine utterances of that bliss level coming from an extra helping of sliced cucumbers.

So I say to mothers**everywhere, “Give them something worth coming home to.”

Then send them outside to run it off until dinner.

Soon enough, they will learn the hard, raw, facts of life and bell peppers.

I guarantee your children will rise up and call you “blessed, ” though it may sound more like, “Hey Mom—you make the BEST cinnamon toast.”

**I’m not being sexist here—its just that fathers instinctively know this stuff, as demonstrated by the contents of their shopping carts when sent out to buy above-mentioned vegetables.

Their Costco mini earth-mover is loaded with

•Ice cream

•Family-pack tri-tips

•Doritos (a.k.a. “Corn”)

•3 Dozen balled-up napkins and toothpicks smudged with teriyaki glaze (“May I take a sample for my wife? And for my sister’s nephew twice-removed?”)

•Frozen French fries, because, ”WHAT.. . Potatoes ARE vegetables and you told me to buy whatever vegetable looked good…”

Which isn’t at all what you meant, but sounded better than Commander Bossy-pant: “Get baby carrots-but not the store brand. Don’t get those. Get the organic ones with the gold-ish yellow label, NOT the orange label…”

I’ll leave you to hash that out yourselves.

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