Sometimes, real life just gets in the way. It’s been several weeks since I last wrote on my blog, but in that time I’ve dealt with graduations, job proposals and deadlines, broken bones (not mine), out of town visitors, some bad luck, some good luck, too many soccer tournaments and who knows what else. It’s really all a blur. The problem I can’t seem to control, and what is clearly frustrating to me these days, is when real life gets in the way of my fun life. It just occurred to me in the past few weeks that I’m tired of the every day obligations which interferes with what really matters to me right now. Housecleaning, shopping, laundry, bill paying and anything else that requires too many brain cells is no longer on my list of priorities. But let me tell you the question I’m really struggling with right now, more than ever:
Why are kids always hungry?
Unfortunately for my son, my feelings of frustration have coincided with his growth spurt. Breakfast is halfway chewed before I’m bombarded with lunch requests. Afternoon snacks just seem to blend in with dinner. A gallon of ice cream finishes off the last meal of the day before late night snack hunger pains sink in. Add a few friends to the mix and not only is Costco sending you a thank you note for helping them exceed their monthly financial goals, but you realize that holding off retirement until your’re 103 is really not that bad.
During the summer months, two things are always guaranteed at my house. The constant moan of “I’m hungry,” and “There’s nothing to eat.” In the past, this would cause me to jump up from whatever I was doing, do a little tap dance and start pulling everything out of the fridge and pantry while showing my children and their friends that we had a smorgasbord available at their disposal. But today? Sadly, they are correct. I look at the grocery store much as I do a pap smear. It’s necessary, but oh so inconvenient.
The other day, as I was frantically working on a deadline for a client, my son walked into my office and said that he wanted to make some lunch but there really, really, truly, wasn’t anything to eat. I sighed, grabbed my purse and tossed him the car keys to go and get something to eat.
“But Mom. I’m 14.”
“Then stay off the busy roads.”
“Seriously Mom. I can’t eat another pancake.”
“What about a bowl of cereal?” I offered.
“I had that for dinner last night.”
“Oh that’s right. And we were out of milk. By the way, did it taste okay with the Gatorade poured in instead?” I asked as if I really cared.
“Not really, but it was better than the corn mixed in with the barbecue sauce I had the night before.”
“Well, at least you had a vegetable. That means you won’t need another one until next week. What about some fruit? Don’t we have some canned something?”
He sighed. “Yes, I ate the fruit cocktail for breakfast yesterday and by the way, expiration dates really do matter.”
“Well live and learn,” I muttered. It was becoming painfully obvious. I needed to get to the store. I glanced at him as I grabbed the car keys.
“Why are you always hungry?”
He looked at me as he nibbled on some uncooked spaghetti noodles. He started to speak but I waved my hand. “Conserve your energy,” I suggested. “You’re looking a little pale.”