I just read this post at Becoming Sarah, and it struck a chord with me.
I can relate to the hesitancy toward letting people see just how uptight I am about food. It all started with a college course on food and American culture. And not being able to unknow the things I began to learn. I’ve definitely not come as far as I would like to be (Ben & Jerry’s is a major weakness, for example), but I’d say I’m much more strict than the average Joe about what food I put in my body.
Let me tell you, it’s only gotten worse since Sadie was born. Let me tell you some other things:
It is exhausting being this uptight. Exhausting both physically and emotionally. I stay up late or work early in the morning doing crazy things like making homemade granola AND granola bars. I worry all the time about whether I’m doing enough. I made strawberry jam, but I can’t seem to get around to making other jams or trying to can other things (pickles, sauerkraut, beans, tomatoes). I wish I could get into the swing of making homemade bread (I can’t even stand how long the list of ingredients on our preferred bread’s package). I made yogurt for a while, but then my local source of milk vanished. And I never could get that routine enough, either.
It is a constant, uphill battle keeping crap out of Sadie’s hands and mouth. And not because she’s a toddler. Because she’s surrounded by it nearly every time we leave the house. I can’t keep her from it, and I know a lot of people (maybe most) would say this is where I’m WAY too uptight, but I wish I could. I wish we could afford to send her to a school where only healthy, real foods were offered. I wish I could change the minds of family members who are okay with kids having soda and candy and other non-foods regularly. But I can’t. As Sarah mentions in her post, food is SUCH a touchy subject. Food + kids is volatile.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Just venting, I guess. I know: I’m too hard on myself, too hard on others, too hard on the world. But I CAN’T just let it go. In a country where elementary students have high blood pressure and diabetes at alarming rates, what we don’t know CLEARLY IS hurting us. It’s hurting our children.